Ramadan is upon us and a recent poll taken by Rakuten Malaysia found that bonding with the family is the biggest priority for Malaysian Muslims during Ramadan.
The poll was conducted on 100 Malaysian Muslims which had some interesting findings. The poll found that 28% of the respondents listed “family bonding” as the most important element of Ramadan for them. This was followed by growing spiritually (24%) and having enough energy for their work or school activities (21%).
However, the poll also found that respondents did not see certain things as a priority. For example, getting enough exercise (1%), getting adequate sleep (4%) and getting sufficient nutrition and hydration (9%) did not seem to be as important to the respondents. This is not necessarily good because a lack of all these things can have a significant impact on one’s physical well-being during Ramadan and even thereafter.
1) Exercise can be made easier by doing it at home
The poll found that 42% of respondents exercised less or less often during the fasting month compared with other periods, while 29% said they do not exercise at all – either during Ramadan or any other months.
According to a review study published in the Journal of Fasting and Health by Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, the optimal time for exercise during Ramadan is in the evening, about two to three hours after the breaking of fast. A separate study published in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine said there might be benefits to exercising in the evening, since iftar (the sunset meal) would partially compensate for the fluid and calorie deficits accumulated during fasting.
To get more exercise, try exercising at home and at Rakuten, you’ll be able to check out their ample list of exercise and fitness equipment available online.
2) Enhance the quality and quantity of sleep
Sleep is as important as food and drink intake during fasting, as it helps reduce fatigue and restlessness. Recently, The World-Wide Sleep Index study showed that Malaysians have the shortest sleep durations, which isn’t doing any of us any favours long term. Almost half (48%) of respondents said they got less sleep during the fasting month compared to other days, with 55% of them sleeping five or fewer hours per day during Ramadan, versus just 22% during non-Ramadan months. This is far lower than the National Sleep Foundation’s average recommended duration of seven to nine hours for adults.
It is important to improve sleep quality, you can get some tips here on how to get better sleep. If you would like to try sleep aids, then visit Rakuten and get aids such as the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband which monitors sleep quality and has a silent wake alarm for “sahur”.
3) A family that eats (and cooks) together stays together
We Malaysians enjoy eating together and a lot of the time, communal eating is something that we all do almost on a daily basis. With 42% of respondents preferring to have their iftar at home – in line with their priority on family bonding – staying close to loved ones while getting the right nutrition can be easily combined into one. Taking time to cook together and catching up with one another during “sahur” (pre-dawn meal) and “iftar” will provide ample opportunities for the family bond to grow stronger
Cooking together, as well as baking together is a great bonding activity. Bond with your family and friends by making some cookies for Raya. If you don’t have any baking equipment, you’ll be able to get some easily with these endless choices, available online at Rakuten.