Mubadala Health partner’s chief physiotherapist gives his tips for fitting physical activity into your fasting routine

Azzam Kamal

Regular moderate exercise has many health benefits that are particularly relevant for people who are fasting and changing their sleep patterns, according to the Head of the Physiotherapy Department at Healthpoint, a Mubadala Health partner.

Azzam Kamal says: “The benefits of exercise are well known, and many of these are particularly relevant to the results of changing our routines during Ramadan. For example, endorphins produced during exercise can raise flagging energy levels, while exercise helps to improve sleep to compensate for our changing nighttime patterns, and movement aids in digestion, which can help your body to better process a sudden intake of food at iftar.”

He adds, “In addition, physical, mental, and spiritual wellness are interconnected, and Ramadan is a perfect time for people to think about how they can holistically improve their health and wellbeing by reviewing how they exercise and eat, as well as what unhealthy lifestyle habits they should stop.”

Kamal recommends exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. As fasting puts a strain on the body, it is important to reduce the regular workout length and intensity, and start off slowly for the first few days until the body adjusts. He says it is a good idea to exercise two hours after breaking the fast, so that the body has had time to digest food and rehydrate. He also suggests that people could add some moderate exercise before suhoor, so that they can eat or drink shortly afterwards.

He suggests simple stretching exercises and also leg exercises such as squats and lunges to condition joints and muscles. In addition, he recommends a 30-minute daily walk or jog in the garden or any area that allows for safe physical distancing.

For people who are just starting to exercise, Kamal says, “We recommend consulting a physician before beginning any exercise program. Suitable exercises include light stretches and moderate aerobic exercise, and we also recommend working out with someone in your household to keep you motivated.”

Kamal says, “My best advice is to remember that a balanced diet and light exercise are key to staying healthy during Ramadan. People should plan out their meals, rather than indulge when breaking the fast, and stick to regular, moderate workout schedules.”

Healthpoint has one of Abu Dhabi’s largest in-house physiotherapy centers and also provides sports medicine and orthopedic care across key specialties. The state-of-the-art facility caters to all types of orthopedic injuries and works with patients of all ages to manage both injuries and chronic conditions related to muscles, bones and joints. The world-class physiotherapists work in collaboration with the spine, orthopedic and musculoskeletal centers at Healthpoint to provide an end-to-end care solution for patients.

Mubadala Health facilities offer telehealth services across many specialties for the convenience and safety of elderly patients and those with chronic conditions.

About Mubadala Health:

Mubadala Health is the integrated healthcare network of Mubadala Investment Company. Established 2021, Mubadala Health operates, manages, and develops a portfolio of healthcare assets including: Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre (ADTC), Amana Healthcare, Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC), Healthpoint, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), and National Reference Laboratory (NRL). In addition, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is an integral part of Mubadala Health. With a vision to transform the regional healthcare landscape, Mubadala Health sets a new benchmark for the UAE and regional healthcare industry through its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class caregivers who strive to put patients first across its continuum of care. Innovation, research, and education are the foundational pillars of Mubadala Health, supporting the further development of a sustainable healthcare sector in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and the region.

Mubadala Health is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn with the handle: @mubadalahealth.

About Healthpoint:

Healthpoint, a Mubadala Health partner, is a premium hospital with three specialty centers – the Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery Center, the Dental Clinic and Musculoskeletal Center. Based in Abu Dhabi and accepting patients throughout the UAE and GCC, the hospital provides community care, grounded in the latest internationally recognized medical approaches.

Healthpoint is committed to working with companies within the Mubadala Health network and with its strategic partners from the world’s best healthcare organizations, as well as other hospitals and clinics locally and regionally. We deliver quality and accessible care and education to everyone, from patients and their families to communities, to achieve better health together. Healthpoint’s innovative care and health programs offer our patients and the community the specific tools they need to make better choices regarding their health and lead healthier, happier, and longer lives.

Healthpoint’s compassionate clinical staff are leaders in their respective fields and combine international standards and latest innovations with local understanding to create a world-class hospital experience. The clinical and non-clinical staff work as one integrated team in a culture that continuously aims to improve patient experience, outcomes and employee engagement. Healthpoint provides full-cycle organized care using the integrated practice unit (IPU) model, which tailors treatment around the individual patient, with every action in the practice complementing the other to increase standards, avoid unnecessary care and simplify each patient’s journey.