Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
This Holy Month of Ramadan which bolsters family and friendship ties and bonding, watch out for added kilos or pounds which have been proved to spark poor lifestyle conditions such as cardiovascular diseases.
The caution are from It’s SO Simple founder/fitness coach Rachael Sacerdoti and Medeor Hospital (Dubai) Nutrition consultant/clinical dietician Juliot Vinolia. They shared tips on how to remain in the pink of health this month-long season of simple to ostentatious joyful get-togethers and reunions, even in these times of Novel Coronavirus (COVID19)-related digital connectivity.
Vinolia said: “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of stroke or cardiovascular events are higher during Ramadan due to the public not following healthy eating during Iftar and Suhoor; choosing to have sugary, salty and fried foods with less water and more processed fruit juices and carbonated drinks.”
Sacerdoti whose 12-week motivational/educational programme for the mind and body was set up in 2020, debunked as well two popular Ramadan myths on weight loss. These are working out before breaking the fast burns more fats, and, eating one meal during the season reduces weight.
Sacerdoti who said light exercises should be preferred over the heavy work-outs after breaking the fast, also said on Thursday: “Do not overdo things. Do not let fasting become an excuse not to train. The key to everything and in particular during Ramadan is to pay attention to what your body is telling you.”
Why work out after breaking the fast and before the main Iftar meal? “Breaking the fast before working out allows you to take some fluids on and a little bit of fuel for your body from a small snack. This reduces the risk of being overly dehydrated. Eating the main meal after allows you to fuel your recovery which is the best time to take onboard nutrients.”
Sacerdoti is not for the one-meal-per-day weight loss approach: “The key to weight loss is running a calorie deficit. By that we mean we consume fewer calories than we burn. I believe that should be done by (going for) light balanced meals and even small snacks.” She encouraged the spread of the calorie in-take through all the meals.
On her suggestion to work out before Suhoor, she said doing so allows the body to be ready for the hours of fasting as the meal before sun-up is also the “opportunity” to get properly rehydrated: “Low hydration levels can lead to lower blood pressure and this can make us light headed and reduces our effect ivory and safety when working out.”
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“Break the fast at Iftar by eating three dates. The reason is that after many hours of fasting, the body needs a source of energy like simple sugars or carbohydrates that it can burn up fast for a quick burst of energy. This provides glucose to all cells, especially the brain and the nervous system.”
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