Health & Hygiene During Hajj
Now that you have arrived in Makkah/Madinah. how do you keep yourself healthy and fit for the spiritually and physically demanding rituals of Hajj.
First and foremost: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Dehydration is the most common cause of illness during Hajj. It is now summer in Saudi Arabia and the desert heat is punishing. We do tawaf 7 times around the Kaabah and Saie 7 times up and down between Safa & Marwa: so why not have 7 cups of zam zam water per day for those not on fluid restriction? There is no need for isotonic drinks when Zam zam has all of the minerals necessary for good health and in the best proportion. Zam zam was made by Allah (SWT) for us and Allah (SWT) knows best. In addition, isotonic drinks are sugar laced (although undeniably less than a can of Coke or Pepsi) hence, while you have burnt off calories performing your Tawaf & Saiee, you are inadvertently adding more calories when you drink isotonic drinks. 1 can of 100 Plus has 89 calories and you will need 1.5 km of brisk walking to burn that off! 1 can of Coke has 130 calories, energy you have burned performing Saie.
Secondly, Adequate rest is essential for Hajj. This ensures that you have recouped your energy and prepared yourself for other rituals. Keep your mind focused on the essentials of Hajj (Arafah, Mina).
Next, stay informed about contagious diseases. MERs (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). And advisory has recently been issued by the World Health Organization about MERs. The is no known vaccine against this disease but what is known is that it is not easily spread from person to person. also, the virus has been detected in camels. therefore avoid contact with camels to minimize risk.
Maintaining good personal hygiene is also essential during Hajj. Some tips are to wash hands before meals and after visiting the toilet; and sneeze into tissue then throw it away and wash hands. If there is no tissue paper available when sneezing then sneeze onto your upper arm. Another tip is to wash fruit carefully before eating. In addition, it is permissible to wear a face mask to protect oneself from illness, especially for those who are susceptible to the flu, those with chronic diseases, diabetics, those suffering from heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory illness and low immunity.
You should remember to eat healthy. While there may be dietary differences in the food offered from what you are used to, do at least eat to sustain your energy. Dates are good source of sugar and fiber. Yogurt is cooling and good for the digestive system. And try to minimize the intake of fried and spicy food, especially if you are not used to them.
If you have a chronic medical condition then take your medications as normal.
The summer heat is scorching. Protect yourself and use sunblock. Out of ihram, moisturize your skin to prevent dryness and cracked skin. Finally, and once more, drink lots of water.
Hajj Mabrook InsyaAllah!