Maldives Wellness Review

(Note from the Editor)

The Muslim holy month of fasting is observed throughout the Maldives archipelago every year. Communities on every inhabited island of the country prepare for the month. Traditionally, and even at present, refurbishing apartments or houses, decorating the house compounds with clear white powdery sand, preparation of special treats to be had during the breakfast or evening meals are still found in many islands and households. The state has also mandated a Ramadan Bonus (MVR 3000/-) to be paid to all employed Maldivians, in government agencies as well as in the private sector, so as to help families with the additional expenses for the month. We wish all our readers a blissful Roadhamas. And we look at a fitness challenge most of us face during this month; maintaining muscle mass while fasting throughout the month.

Our guest contributor Hamid A Ghafoor, founder of the first gym in the Maldives (Male’ Fitness Club) and a graduate in Physical Education, Exercise & Sports Science has offered the following tips to keep you well throughout Ramdan.

Male Fitness Club is also offering free fitness tests through the month of Ramadan.

ROADHAMAS starts today, Mon 11 March. Our focus this month is to assess changes to body fat percentage from fasting. We therefore dedicate Roadhamas to finding out if we gain or lose fat during the fasting month. We lose muscle mass when we stop exercising!

Therefore, most members continue gym during this month, and only a few drop out! Roadhamas is a month to maintain fitness. Exercise intensity is controlled to ensure muscle mass is not lost.

WELLNESS is a major factor of Roadhamas. Intermittent fasting is seen synonymously with the Islamic belief in fasting. Though we eat more fatty foods in Roadhamas, those who are into the modern fitness lifestyle choose to eat more fruit during this month. Fruits are increasingly entering our otherwise fat rich diets.

The trend is to get active. Parks are lit up for outdoor sports and exercise at night. Gyms are open from 3 pm till late into the night. Some members prefer a pre-breakfast workout, while others like to come in after a light breakfast. Late night gym visits are usually after 9 pm (post-Tharavees)

GAIN OR LOSE FAT. We measure fat percentage at the start and end of Roadhamas. We wish to find out if you lost or gained fat during this month. You can come in to do a free pre-exercise screening and a fitness test. Our Certified Trainers will give you an accurate assessment of what intensity you must maintain your workout during this month.

Reducing fat mass and developing muscle mass is necessary to maintain good health. Roadhamas is also a good time to start gym.

For most serious gym goers, Roadhamas is a maintenance month. That is, to ensure you do not loose muscle mass.

Five Weeks of Fasting. Roadhamas runs from 11 March through to 9 April with Fitr Eid predicted to fall on Wed 10 April. Ha-Roadha extend up to the end of the following Tue 16 April. This is five solid weeks of fasting and exercise. We will resume normal hours from Wed 17 April.


About the Author

Hamid Abdul Ghafoor founded the first fitness club in the Maldives (1989) after his graduate studies in Physical Education, Exercise & Sports Science. He developed his fitness practice on a science based approach, while teaching a certificate course in fitness and health. Aware of the scourge of noncommunicable disease and it’s impact on the health and wellness of Maldivians, his fitness practice focus on a holistic approach, giving credence to the wellness derived from being physically fit.