Expert tips for a healthy Ramadan

Dr. David Teo, Regional Medical Director, Asia, International SOS

International SOS shares top tips for those fasting this Ramadan

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, March 29, 2022 / — With the fast approaching month of Ramadan, International SOS has released its top five health tips for those observing the holy month during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. The global leader in health and safety services also advises organizations to continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of their employees and shares the following advice.

Dr David Teo, Regional Medical Director, Asia, International SOS, said: “We wish everyone a blessed and safe month of Ramadan. Ramadan is an important and special observance and this year will be the first time many Malaysians have been able to travel and congregate since the pandemic began. Although there has been a relaxation of guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs), people should still be careful and aware of their health, which is why we have created our top five tips to make it easier for those who observe the fast.

Dr Teo continued: “Even though COVID-19 vaccination rates have reached good levels in Malaysia, the pandemic is not yet over and everyone still needs to be careful and follow existing guidelines and SOPs. such as physical distancing, mask-wearing and hand hygiene.”

International SOS’s top five tips for a healthy Ramadan are:

1. Don’t skimp on rest and/or sleep – Ramadan is a time of increased prayer. While it might be tempting to go to bed late for Sahur and only sleep after Imsak, you should always aim to sleep at least 8 hours in a 24 hour period, even if this accumulates over several separate rest periods. . A well-rested body and mind will make it easier for you to concentrate at work and have more energy throughout the day.

2. Scale your hydration – Thirst can be one of the most difficult symptoms of fasting, causing us to drink plenty of water and fluids very quickly as soon as we break our fast and then just before Imsak. However, rehydration should be a cumulative process. The best way to rehydrate fasted bodies and maintain that hydration longer is to pace your fluid intake by consuming at least 2 liters of water – one or two glasses at a time – between Iftar and Imsak. It also helps cut down on caffeinated beverages at night and supplement your fluid intake with water-rich soups, fruits, and vegetables, such as cucumbers and watermelon.

3. Eat Healthy and Nutritious Meals – Fasting will lead to a change in eating habits and the frequency of your food intake. Meeting your vitamin and mineral needs is essential to maintaining a strong immune system. Pay attention to your salt and sugar intake. After a full day of fasting, avoid satisfying your cravings with sugar-rich sodas and energy drinks. Instead, opt for unprocessed foods such as fruits and eat complex carbohydrates such as rice, breads and whole grains alongside vegetables, which will keep you full longer. When it comes to salt intake, keep in mind that having moderately salty foods with water can help you retain some hydration for longer. However, consuming too much salt will have a detrimental effect and contribute to thirst and dehydration during the day. Too much salt can affect blood pressure, so go easy on salty snacks like popcorn and salted nuts at night.

4. Do more in the morning – Whenever possible, schedule more difficult tasks requiring greater concentration or physical effort in the morning when you have more energy. International SOS encourages companies each year to schedule important meetings during the first half of the day, when fasting employees will have more energy and be better able to retain new information.

5. Don’t Stop Exercising – Although you may feel more tired and naturally less active while fasting, not exercising regularly for a full month is unhealthy, especially since most part of your diet will be consumed at night. Moderate exercise is advised and will also help you feel less sluggish. Remember to wait a few hours after iftar before doing any activity.

Additionally, people with chronic conditions should consult with their doctor about how to manage regular medications and ensure they can fast safely.

“In any case, it is always and especially important to identify those at risk of severe form of COVID-19, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions (eg, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or cancer), to observe social distancing and adhere to hand and general hygiene measures. However, those affected by COVID-19 may wish to consider religious license to break their fast in consultation with their doctor,” Dr. Teo concluded.

International SOS also reminds everyone to keep in mind the following guidelines for having a safe Ramadan amidst COVID-19:

1. Strictly follow general hygiene measures.
2. Wash your hands frequently, regularly, and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water.
3. Wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption.
4. Maintain a social distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) and avoid gatherings with friends and relatives during breakfast (Iftar), Sahur hours and stay at home.
5. Stay informed and follow the advice given by your health care provider and health authorities.

Esther Ng
International SOS
+60 10 982 1771
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