Fast & fitter

Wondering how to stay active during the Holy Month? Look no further



By Mayur Aggarwal

Published: Thu 29 Apr 2021, 6:23 AM

Last updated: Thu 27 May 2021, 8:24 AM

Working out during the Holy Month of Ramadan can be a daunting task, but we shouldn't lose all the hard work we put in the rest of the year in this one month! Read on to learn what to keep in mind while working out when fasting from sunrise to sunset.

Best time to workout

The best time to exercise while fasting is 90 minutes before sunset because once the session has been completed, the person will be able to rehydrate themselves after Iftar by drinking water. Since they will be exercising on an empty stomach, the routine should include low key exercises focused on resistance training, stretching, fewer repetitions with slightly lighter weights and slow short jogs or brisk walks.

Exercising during fasting can also drain energy. To avoid this, it is best to avoid vigorous exercises, which can compromise one's health. Limit each session to one hour.

What to eat before

If you intend to train right after Iftar, consume a simple carbohydrate-based meal 15 to 20 minutes before the session. This meal should include fresh fruit juice or two whole fruits.

If you plan to train before Suhoor, a complex carbohydrate meal mixed with some protein is a good idea. This type of meal should include whole-wheat toast with nut butter or overnight soaked oats with milk.

Ideally, one should train only 60 minutes after consuming such a meal.

Best exercises

Start slowly during the initial days of Ramadan as you might feel thirsty, which could lead to dehydration. Stick to low-medium intensity cardio sessions for 15 to 20 minutes with strength training after, depending on your intensity levels. Once used to this routine, you can gradually increase intensity.

You can maintain a normal intensity level if you plan to train after Iftar. But make sure to keep well hydrated before and during sessions.

Eating habits

Eat smart and fight your cravings. It is a common misconception that only burning calories can help maintain body weight, however, diet is equally important. Eating the right food in the right portions and drinking plenty of water at Suhoor and Iftar can not only help nourish your body but also replenish fluids lost during the day.

One should eat complex carbohydrates, especially during Suhoor, such as fruit and vegetables, beans, chickpeas and lentils, which provide a long-lasting source of energy throughout the day. Some of the best food items to add to Suhoor or Iftar are watermelon, fattoush salad or anything that contains plenty of hydrating vegetables like cucumber and tomato. Having said that, food that can add calories to the diet such as caffeine and soft drinks should be avoided.

- Mayur Aggarwal is a personal trainer from Snap Fitness Gym


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