By Rehan Jalali
Hajj is cardio intensive so you must be in good physical shape. Continue to weight train as normal but for cardio I recommend:
Take a brisk walk 4-5 days a week for 35-45 minutes wearing sandals a few times (preferably in the morning). Drink plenty of water and a cup of green tea before the walk (use 2-3 tea bags). Walk pretty fast. Once in a while, practice walking barefoot. I used to walk around barefoot in my backyard just to prepare.
Here are supplements you need to take daily, starting now:
- Emergen-C: 1 packet daily in the morning or before a workout mixed with water. This is a high-dose vitamin C powder that strengthens your immune system.
- Opti-Pack by Super Nutrition (easy swallow packets – Iron-Free): Potent multivitamin/mineral formula. Take 1 packet daily with food.
- Selenium: Take 150 mcg daily with lunch (about 2 tablets). It helps boost your immune system and is a powerful antioxidant.
- Alpha Lipoic acid: Take 300 mg daily with breakfast. A good brand is from MRM – 300 mg timed-release alpha lipoic acid.
- Paractin: Immune booster (found here).
Here are foods you need to take daily, starting now:
- 1) Raw, dark honey (pure, unfiltered): Take 1 tablespoon daily with breakfast. You can actually buy a bottle of Al-Shifaa honey when you get there from a store called Bin Dawud (it’s like Walgreens here) and carry it with you at all times during Hajj as well. It came in real handy on those long bus rides!
- Dates: Eat three-five dates daily as a snack.
- Almonds (unsalted): Eat one handful of almonds as an afternoon snack daily.
- Sweet Potato: Eat one medium-sized potato daily or every other day. Just microwave it plain and you can put cinnamon on it.
- Wild Blueberries: Eat 1/2 t0 1 cup daily as a snack. Eat these with almonds for better absorption of the antioxidants.
- Apple: Eat one apple daily.
- Broccoli: eat 1 serving (1 cup) daily with dinner.
- Spinach: One serving daily.
That should get you physically ready and help you be healthy and strong to maximize ibadat (acts of worship) at Hajj! A couple of other must-have items are:
- Face mask (disposable box).
- Chafing powder (this is absolutely necessary – it was a life saver). Like Gold Bond powder or medicated cream. For the inner thigh chafing!
- General medicines (you can get Z-pack and other antibiotics there for cheap).
- Portable Qur’an to read on the bus or on the day of Arafat.
- Protein Bars – very handy. The best one is MetRX Big 100 (red wrapper) or Zero Impact bar from VPX.
- Sleeping Bag (just give it away after you use it at Muzdalafa).
You should pack light because you can buy everything there for cheap anyways. Please keep us in your du`a’ and feel free to pass this advice on to whoever you think will benefit from it.
Rehan Jalali has advanced degrees in nutrition and health. He has trained numerous celebrities and works with professional athletes and teams to provide choice nutritional and training advice.