SWATI BASU DAS –
As the holy month of Ramadhan comes to a close this year, it’s time for the festive mood as Eid brings joy, bliss and prosperity to the entire nation. And, it is also time to resume the daily routine keeping our health in mind.
The holy month sees a lot of changes in the eating/ sleeping patterns. Despite a balanced diet during the fasting period, the body needs time to get used to a new regime.
It may sound simple, yet getting back to a regular routine can be tough when it comes to maintaining the BMI (body mass index) or meeting the medical parameters.
“The transition from fast to a normal dietary habit should be gradual. We receive several complaints of acute increase in sugar levels and severe gastroenteritis. We always ask people to seek medical supervision prior to change in any regime,” says Dr Basheer, senior internist and diabetologist at a private clinic in Muscat.
This, he says, keeps their health in check.
Nutritionists and doctors caution people, including those under medication, to be careful about the quantity/ kind of food they consume when breaking their fast.
Temptation gets the better of them, with many leaning towards calorie-rich and sugary foods. Though recommended, exercises seem to take a back seat as the celebration date draws closer.
Research has shown that once you get accustomed to something, it takes about 21 days to break the habit and cultivate a new habit.
While some lose weight during Ramadhan, many gain it back after the fasting period, which affects the body and poses a greater health risk. “Balance food and exercise plays a key role in maintaining a healthy body weight. The absence of a proper diet and getting back to a sedentary lifestyle can cause further problems,” says Dr Basheer.
While fasting is beneficial and doesn’t harm the system, getting back to normal routine with no balanced diet or exercise causes health issues, he says.
Ramadhan is not about losing weight or toning up health. Many people look at it as a weight-loss programe. Fasting, which is beneficial to both body and mind, also plays a pivotal role in improving life throughout the year.
With Eid marking its days on the calendar, it is time for celebration, a healthy celebration is what is recommended by all health experts.
As the rules of Ramadhan do not restrict one from following a regular schedule after the end of the holy month, it becomes important to follow the golden rules to bring the lower metabolic rate back to normal.
Since metabolism is key to good health, frequent small meals, a heavy breakfast, and lots of fruits and green vegetables are advised by healthcare experts for regaining normal health.
“Most of the eating during Ramadhan is during the night and sleep gets disrupted too, which slows down our metabolic rate. Therefore, a proper calorie intake during the day and a light meal at night can ensure good health,” he says.
A common practice of workout for 30-45 minutes, a well-planned diet and sticking to bedtime at night soon after Ramadhan will not only boost health but will help maintain our well-being.