Islamic Fasting
Ramadan Kareem

HEALTH TIPS: 14 Ways to Stay Cool During Ramadan Amid Rising Heatwave

By Maimuna Katuka Aliyu

In the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month of the year in which Muslim’s all around the world observe a mandatory 29 or 30 days fasting. Fasting, Islamically, refers to the abstinence from food, drink, or sexual relations from the first light of dawn until the setting of the sun.

Fasting is a private act of worship and the fourth pillar of Islam. It is about nearness to Allah, as well as a form of spiritual discipline and a means to empathize with those less fortunate.

On one hand, the weather all over the country has been relatively hot. Some netizens had joked about Nigeria sharing a boundary with hellfire, or moving several steps towards the sun.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, heat wave is an extreme weather event marked with a warming of the air over a large area usually lasting from a few days to a few weeks. This increases health risks and may even result in death.

Research indicates that heat stress during abstinence (from food and drink) is a substantial health hazard. The highest risk is posed among people who may be suffering from an illness, those who perform heavy labor, and individuals exposed to direct sunlight.

As the saying goes that prevention is better than cure, here are some ways you can avoid heat-related health issues in the month of Ramadan:

– Stay out of the sun as much as possible.

– Try to avoid any strenuous activity during the daytime.

– If you do have to go out, walk in the shade or use an umbrella, hat or scarf to stay cool.

– Wear loose-fitting clothes.

– When possible, drink plenty of fluids while avoiding soft drinks and sugary products.

– Take cool showers as needed. If you are out and about, use damp cloth or paper towels on your head and neck to stay cool.

– Keep your environment, such as your workspace and living area, cool.

– Take care of young and elderly family members.

– Avoid sitting in stationary cars or leaving anyone to wait in a car that is either turned off or parked in direct sunlight.

– Studies show that the temperature inside a powered off vehicle can be almost twice the outside temperature!

– Avoid any outdoor activities.

– At the first sign of a headache, dizziness, or lack of focus, cramps in the legs or abdomen, immediately move to a cool, shaded place.

– If possible, rehydrate using cool water not cold water, ice or chilled drinks.

– If you are fasting or otherwise unable to find water, wait for the heat to subside.
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