During Ramadan students never forget their duty of keeping the fast with an open heart despite all the hassles and academic pressure. However while having grand iftar parties with family, relatives and friends students mostly lose focus on keeping their body healthy. Naturally, in their daily life, students deal with many essential things. However, during Ramadan finding the perfect stability between daily activities and keeping the day-long fast is important to stay fit and healthy. Students should make some alterations in their lifestyle since this month is different from the rest of the months of the year. Here are some effective suggestions in this regard:
Don’t skip your sehri (Suhoor)
Remember that the pre-dawn meal helps your body to stay hydrated and fueled up for the rest of the day. So, eat properly at the time of sehri. The meal you consume during sehri should contain these following food items:
Complex carbohydrates: Rice, lentils, vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, okra, carrots, broccoli, spinach), fruits (apples, grapefruit, strawberries, cucumber) and other complex carbohydrates (like kidney beans) are slow-releasing carbs and these help to keep your blood sugar steady and give you a feeling of fullness.
High-fiber foods: Fiber-rich foods are digested slowly and include dates, nuts, whole-wheat, grains and almost all the fruits (especially apricots and prunes). They stay in your intestines for a long period of time and reduce thirst. Banana is a good choice as it is a good source of potassium and other essential nutrients that will help to keep your body hydrated.
Protein: High protein foods like eggs, cheese, yoghurt, meat or fish and low-fat dairy items are also recommended as they can help replenish your energy throughout the day. You can also have a glass of natural fruit juice during sehri.
Keep your body temperature in check
The daily cold shower is the easiest way to rehydrate yourself. After a couple of days of fasting, thirst becomes a normal feeling. But you shouldn’t overlook other obvious signs of dehydration. These signs can be external such as cracked lips, flushed skin, exhaustion and increased body temperature or breathing. Internal symptoms include increased pulse rate, dizziness, weakness and heavy breathing.
If you feel any of these symptoms, you should try to lower your body temperature. Since, you spend a significant amount of time at the university, wet a small towel with cold water and apply the towel to your forehead, the area around your ears, the base of your neck and the upper back. Otherwise simply wash your whole face and hands up to the elbow every time you get a chance.
Avoid stressful extra-curriculum activities
Doing extra-curriculum activities during Ramadan can be injurious to your body. Physical sports like cricket, football, badminton or table tennis can result in sweat and dehydration in your body. Surprisingly, a little exercise can help your body to dispose toxins and other harmful elements that might cause dehydration later on. Pick a good time for exercise (two to three hours after iftar is advisable). A hassle-free short walk after iftar may be a good idea, but try to counter-balance the amount of water you lost by drinking water before you go to sleep.
Increase intake of water
Maintaining fluid level is vital to stay healthy during the holy month of Ramadan. The best drink is water! Reduction of water intake can harm your body cells and nerves. Prepare for your day of fasting by drinking sufficient water throughout the night. Keep a bottle of water close by during the evening, and try to drink a cup or two at least every hour. Drink lemon juice or fresh fruit juice instead of soft or flavored drinks in the iftar. Try to avoid coffee and tea.
Bring some changes to your iftar menu
The system of breaking the fast with dates is a traditional practice. Dates are the natural source of glucose. Food that contains a lot of sugar can truly dehydrate you, whereas fresh fruit is great for providing extra water. So, instead of finishing your iftar parties with loads of sweets; eat some slices of a watermelon or an orange. Green salads are another good source of extra water, so include them in your Ramadan diet.
Well, fried foods are one of the core reasons why people feel sluggish and bloated after fasting as the stomach is very sensitive to rich foods. Also avoid salty and spicy food because they may cause extreme thirst during fasting. Include soup in your iftar menu as it provides the body with fluids, vitamins and minerals while offering a great way to incorporate vegetables.
Your fashion matters
Be cautious while picking your daytime clothes during Ramadan. The colour of your t-shirt or salwar kameez, the fabric of your pant or dress, and the layers of your clothing - all play a significant role in retaining your body temperature. If you stay indoors, pick a mild-coloured shirt or dress; and if most of your day is spent outside, a darker colour will protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. Avoid black in any situation. It tends to attract the heat and lock it close to your body. For girls, no heavy makeup; try to go with the products that are healthy and comfortable.
Since fasting is a tough task, you must be a little careful. In particular, you should be careful while choosing your diet. You should try to follow the afore-mentioned tips if you want to stay healthy and at the same time continue fasting throughout this month.