Upgrade Your Ramadan Goals This Year!
Ramadan has just begun and preparations on how to extract the most benefit from this month are in full swing! This month of spirituality and reflection, serves as the best time to consider adopting some healthy habits such as incorporating time for meditation, reading and running, while also kicking some unhealthy ones and reducing harm to your body – a cleanse from eating too much junk food, detox from watching too much TVand limiting smoking.
1) Eat in moderation
Studies have shown that restricting food intake during the day can help prevent health problems such as high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity, making it a perfect time for us to reset our metabolism. Therefore, while Ramadan has become synonymous with the 'month of food' in our part of the region, it should not be the season of pakoras, samosas and all that fried junk that we consider mandatory to fill our iftar tables with. But if you really must have parathas and pakoras, eat in moderation and limit yourself to a once-a-week treat rather than a daily indulgence. Or better yet, switch to baked samosas or air-fried pakoras that are way less oily and harmful to your body, but just as delicious.
2) Reduce screen time
What better way to spend your roza than lying on your couch and staying glued to your television screens, right? Wrong. Binge-watching television for h0urs on end can harm your sleep quality and can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to the American Heart Association. So, this Ramadan, try to engage in some healthier and more productive activities. Consider taking a quick walk and spending more time with your family; both of which can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
3) Limit smoking
Smoking, alongside food and drink, is not permitted during the daylight hours of Ramadan, and with abstinence already on your mind, this could provide the motivation you need.
Since you’re already not smoking during the time of your fast, you are already halfway through, and so, this month can be theperfect opportunity.
While you are setting up goals for getting the most benefit out of this month of blessings, let us also add the goal of reducing smoking this Ramadan.
Here are some of additional ways in which you can do this:
1. Abstain from food and drinks that can trigger your craving to smoke such as tea, coffee, meat and sugary or spicy foods.
2. According to a study by University of Buffalo public health researchers, you can also incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet that can also help with reducing cravings.
3. After breaking your fast, go to the mosque, pray, and then stay at home around your family to resist the urge.
Ramadan can be a challenging time for some adults who choose to smoke who, after prolonged abstention, may be tempted to smoke heavily after breaking their fast. To avoid this, you can also:
4. Reach out to therapeutic interventions and established procedures such as harm reduction tools and techniques, that can assist you in switching to smoke-free alternativeswhile you continue your journey of quitting smoking gradually and steadily.
While the first few days may be difficult, remember,perseverance is the key. So, try to find moderation this Ramadanand incorporate the strategy of harm reduction in your everyday life. Take it a day at a time. Ditching all those pakoras and parathas, your favorite television programs, and your cigarette may not be easy but if you succeed on the first day, you are likely to succeed again the next day. If there ever was a time to upgrade your Ramadan fitness goals, it is NOW!