The Muslim calendar is a lunar calender that has 12 months. Ramadan is the 9th month of the year. In the month of Ramadan, we observe fasting from sun rise to sun set.
Fasting is an obligatory act of worship in Islam and it comes with a great many spiritual, physical, mental and social benefits.
Basic Rules of fasting are :
- No food or water from sunrise to sunset based on where you live.
- Guarding the tongue : no lying, cursing, negative behaviour.
- No sexual intercourse (with your spouse off course)
It is meant to teach us patience, and take away ignorance. You know how we always complain about this and that and basically are not thankful most of the time? Well, the basic purpose of Ramadan is to bring back humility, humbility and a great deal of appreciation for what we have. You don’t know what you have until you lose it – Ramadan is a perfect way to teach us about appreciating even the small things in life (which we usually take for granted). This leads to great spiritual, mental and social strength gains. Forget about complaining and whining. When we know what it feels to live in hunger and lack the things we love, it shapes our personalities for the better.
Physical strength gains:
Hell yea! Fasting has some tremendous benefits for the body. From resetting the metabolism, to balancing out hormones to re-programming the digestive system; fasting is a great way to kick your body in a new gear of function and bring about sudden improvements.
- basal metabolic rate goes up during fasting. By day 3 it rises, on average, by 14%.
- forces your body into fat-burning metabolism by temporarily depriving it of the sugars it would normally burn for fuel. This not only burns fat in the short term while you’re fasting, but resets your body to burn more fat for fuel during normal eating.
- Increased HGH (human growth hormone) results in greater endurance with faster muscle repair and growth as well as a slowing of the aging process. One study showed that interval training while fasting increased HGH by 1300% in women and 2000% in men.
- benefits of fasting on neuron centric diseases like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s is pretty amazing! As autophagy is increased during a fasting state rundown mitochondria and other cellular molecules are eliminated from the neurons.1 You can see the connection then between the increased detoxification abilities while fasting and a decreased aging process. This is deep cleansing in its truest form.
- Clears mental clutter – fasting directly influences the stability of neuronal circuits, a type of wiring that dictates the flow of information in the brain and nervous system. Cellular stress and lack of nutrition catalyzed by fasting blocks the synaptic activity of neurons that normally occurs in the brain, which essentially means that the brain slows down. Overactive synaptic activity has been associated with diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other degenerative diseases. So in a way, when we slow down our brain activity, it’s possible that we are protecting the organ by allowing it to recharge.Bye bye mental clutter and hello to focusing on single tasks at a time.
- Increase in ketone bodies due to fasting, which are compounds known to be neuroprotective, essentially guarding brain cells against degenerating to the point of disease.
Hunger may be one result of fasting but #RamadanGains are worth it. The benefits of fasting bring about physical changes which allow us to be better versions of ourselves. Muslim or not, I definetely would recommend you to fast on a regular basis to bring out the best in you and prevent age related, and hormone related illness.
Stay in touch with me Instagram and see my Ramadan progress. Yes I’m working out during Ramadan. See you over at my insta !