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Are you ready for Ramadan?

5 Mar 2024 Are you ready for Ramadan? By MOHAMMED TAHA

Experts share vital preparation tips for a healthier lifestyle this holy month

Muscat – With the holy month of Ramadan around the corner, health experts and spiritual leaders have highlighted the significance of preparation for a period that offers an unparalleled opportunity to follow a healthier lifestyle. The essence of Ramadan goes beyond mere fasting; it is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement and heightened devotion, they say.

Dr Sulaiman al Shereiqi, a senior public health specialist in the Ministry of Health, shared insights with Muscat Daily on the importance of mental and physical readiness ahead of Ramadan. “The lead-up to Ramadan is crucial for individuals to prepare mentally and physically, paving the way for a month focused on health and spirituality.” 

Dr Shereiqi emphasised the benefits of gradually adjusting meal timings, maintaining hydration and ensuring overall well-being to make the most of Ramadan’s health advantages.

For smokers, Ramadan presents a unique challenge and an opportunity simultaneously. Dr Shereiqi advises a gradual reduction in smoking before the month begins, suggesting that the act of fasting could serve as a distraction from the habit. “Cold turkey can be challenging; a gradual approach may be more effective. In addition, engaging more deeply in religious practices and community events during Ramadan can help keep the mind occupied and away from smoking,” he added.

Addressing concerns for individuals with obesity, Dr Shereiqi recommends consulting a nutritionist to tailor a nutrition plan that aligns with health objectives during the fasting period. Diabetics, in particular, face unique challenges during Ramadan. Dr Shereiqi advises a special programme to ensure their well-being, including frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels and understanding the importance of breaking the fast if adverse symptoms manifest.

For diabetic teenagers, the role of parents is critical. Education about the potential risks and symptoms – excessive thirst, fatigue, dizziness and blurred vision – associated with fasting when diabetic is essential. “Creating a supportive environment where teenagers feel comfortable discussing their needs is crucial for a safe fasting experience,” Dr Shereiqi emphasised.

Holistic preparation

Ibrahim al Ramly, Imam of a mosque in Al Hail, Seeb, spoke about holistic preparations for Ramadan, involving mental, physical and spiritual readiness. He encouraged engaging in positive practices such as Tarawih prayers, Quran recitation and acts of charity. 

The imam also warned against habits that could undermine the month’s spiritual focus, like overeating, excessive consumption of sweets and irregular sleep. “These habits can detract from the spiritual focus and physical well-being during the month,” he said.

Imam Ramly further said, “Guiding our children to embrace the true essence of Ramadan, including reducing Internet usage, maintaining proper sleeping hours and focusing on spiritual growth, is essential.” He advocated moderation in food purchase, quitting smoking and fostering a spirit of giving and volunteering among the youth.

As Ramadan beckons, the community is reminded of the profound opportunity it presents not just for spiritual renewal but for adopting healthier, more meaningful lifestyle choices.

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