UAE: Top official urges people to continue healthy practices after Ramadan

UAE: Top official urges people to continue healthy practices after Ramadan

Community members are urged to return to the pre-Ramadan schedule in a balanced manner after a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. Speaking for the welfare of all community members, Dr Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of Community Health, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said that people must consider continuing to follow positive health and nutrition habits even after Ramadan.

Speaking with the Khaleej Times, Dr Al Hajeri said that people must adopt some of the practices that they learnt during the holy month, such as mindful eating and stopping when we feel relatively full in order to gradually return to pre-Ramadan food and exercising regime. 

Furthermore, people are urged to avoid overeating during the holidays to prevent shock to the body and trigger any undesirable spikes in blood sugar. These measures can result in a negative impact on the body, including indigestion, heartburn, and weight gain.

The official recommended avoiding huge meals saturated in fats. Instead, people must divide their meals into light meals at 3 to 4-hour intervals and consume small and frequent snacks distributed during the day. These efforts will help in regulating blood sugar. Furthermore, staying hydrated by drinking enough water and incorporating healthy liquids will also help the body in maintaining a healthy regime. 

Dr Al Hajeri underlined the importance of maintaining a balanced diet to maximise the health benefits of fasting during the holy month.

“Ramadan teaches us to look after ourselves spiritually and physically. We should always eat and move in ways that serve our body and overall health," she added.

Another important pillar of Ramadan is to eat in moderation to maintain a balanced diet. 

"You can eat your sweets in small amounts and make sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables. We recommend eating slowly to everyone, especially coming out of Ramadan as you want to avoid feelings of over-excitement that could lead to a binge eating episode," the official said. 

At the same time, emphasis was paid to staying active and regularly exercising using a proper routine.

“Movement is also key to maintaining healthy joints and a healthy cardiovascular system. I advise people to go out and try different forms of exercise and see what they enjoy doing the most," the doctor pointed out. 

The expert advised designing an environment for success and making sure that people have access to healthy food and healthy ready-to-eat meals and snacks. Following the exercise schedule and making physical activities a part of the daily routine with the support of friends and family will prove very helpful.

Dr Al Hajeri called on people to consider fasting more often than during Ramadan, as fasting has various health benefits, including regulation of blood sugar, fighting inflammation, enhancing heart health, improving blood pressure, boosting brain function, and finally aiding in weight loss.

"When it comes to people with non-communicable diseases, we recommend consulting their doctors before they attempt fasting as it could have adverse effects on their specific cases," she added.

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