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Day 29 of Ramadan and the fast is nearly over, 1434 is truly a blessed year for Muslims, and this, the holiest of months, has been a spiritual wonder. All the intentions for the next 11 months have been made, the discipline and steadfastness learned during Ramadan is second to none. On your list of improvements for the coming months, is health included? Have you thought about what effect the sudden increase in food consumption will have on your body? Are you going to use the dedication and motivation, taught in the last 29 days, to look after yourself (Allah’s creation) and further improve your own well-being?

It is important to be aware that your body has been used to fasting for over 4 weeks, therefore it has now adapted to this state; if you continue to eat the same and just add the extra meals back in, you will find rapid and uncontrollable weight gain happening. Whatever you ate in Ramadan, whether you stuck to clean eating or found yourself indulging, the next few days are now crucial. (Eid day may prove difficult, so try and moderate the treats throughout the day!)

For at least a week, don’t eat anymore than you ate during the fast; just spread the quantity out throughout the day; smaller portions, more often. This is going to aid in speeding the metabolism back up and prevent the body going into shock with a full extra meal or two. This will also teach the body and mind good eating habits which can be continued the whole year around; if you then feel you need to increase food quantity, be gradual and take it week by week. Be sure to eat more vegetables and apples, these are full of fibre and good nutrients that promote good digestive health. Always drink water in sips from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep, this will help flush and detox the system; while supporting overall wellness.

The Sunnah fasts of Monday & Thursday, or 13th,14th and 15th of each month; are not only spiritually rejuvenating, but also give the digestive system a regular rest and (when performed with correct nutrition) are effective at elevating levels of health and discipline.

Now is the time to start a new exercise routine, start gradually and work it into your daily routine. If you think fitness is just for loosing weight, it’s time to fight against that stereotype; fitness is about HEALTH and WELL-BEING, it is about looking after yourself and being the best you can be. Ramadan is strenuous on the body and challenges you in more ways than you thought possible; so now hitting the gym (with water!) shouldn’t be so scary. If the gym isn’t for you, try a class, go for a walk, take up a sport, or find something else that works for you.

When you think of good intentions and improvements for the years ahead, why not include yourself?

Eid Mubarak !

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Asalaamu Alaykum ❤

Safiyah Esack – 07/08/2013

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