Health tips ahead of Ramadan

DUBAI, 3 May 2019: With Ramadan due to start 5 May*, International SOS offers tips for a healthy Ramadan, highlighting the importance of organisations promoting healthy routines to the workforce.

International SOS is also raising awareness about road safety among employers and employees, during Ramadan, which will come to a close on Tuesday 4 June.

International SOS assistance centre senior coordinating, Dr Firas  Ayash, comments on the tangible steps that individuals and employers can take in the days leading up to Ramadan to reduce risk factors.

“Organisations should remind employees about maintaining a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and the importance of regular rest and exercise. Individuals who are fasting should check their weight, blood pressure sugar levels and cholesterol before Ramadan.

Advice for a healthy Ramadan:

Eat moderately at Iftar, and make sure to have a healthy meal at dawn before you start your fasting.

Get eight hours of sleep during the 24-hour period.

Wait two to three hours after Iftar before exercising and focus on lighter activities like brisk walking.

Consult your doctor on how to manage medications and chronic illnesses such as diabetes before Ramadan.

Try to conduct more difficult work tasks earlier in the day and drive safely.

Focus on road safety awareness is important at this time, particularly in the hours before sunset when concentration can be decreased due to the long fasting day.

Road safety is one of the top hazards for business travellers and each year approximately 1.352 million people die in road accidents around the world and between 20 and 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries.

International SOS regional security director EMEA Julian Moro said: “Road safety during Ramadan is a major and often unappreciated danger for travellers and those staying in their home countries.

“During Ramadan, traffic accidents tend to peak as sunset nears and people rush to Iftar. We would advise people to avoid any unnecessary travel on the roads at this time and take safety measures seriously whenever they are on the roads, whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian.”

*This year, Ramadan is expected to start on Sunday 5 May and end on Tuesday, 4 June.

These dates are predicted by the Saudi Arabian government each year, which uses astronomical charts to predict the rise of the first crescent moon. Once the new moon rises, the month-long fast can officially begin.