How to keep fit during Ramadan
How can you maintain your fitness during Ramadan?
A recent study for Sports Direct found that 80% of Muslim men and women aged 18-35 surveyed said they are concerned about exercising safely while fasting. The survey also found that 25% of Muslims in this age group train less during Ramadan. Almost a third feel there isn't enough advice out there on training during this time. An obvious concern for nearly half of those surveyed is feeling hungry and thirsty after workouts. At the same time, for 38%, it's the need to preserve energy that makes them refrain from exercise.
Although Ramadan may not be a time to push your limits or set personal records, there are still ways to maintain your workout and exercise schedules.
It's probably advisable to continue your activities at a much lower intensity and over a shorter duration of time to prevent muscle loss and weight gain for those who exercise regularly. If you are going to perform any high-intensity interval training, cardio or any other vigorous physical activity, then it's probably better for it to be done after fasting when the sun has set.
One of the main aspects of preparing for Ramadan is to figure out ways to better yourself and implement them during the holy month. After fasting, be wary of overeating at night. It's easy to do, but the effects will cause a) extreme fatigue from low energy and b) weight gain from a poor diet and food choices. Read our recent article on how to eat healthily during Ramadan for some tips.
Top tips on how to adjust your exercise regime in Ramadan
Instagram influencer Maymah (@maymah.lifts) speaks to Islam Channel to share her top tips:
1. Best exercises
"Go for low intensity, low reps and lighter weight. If you're not into weight training, you could even go for a walk in the day. Just do something you enjoy for a short while to keep the body active and healthy."
2. How much to exercise
"Try not to do too much, but not too little so that you lose strength. Three times a week or a short amount every other day would be sufficient! We mustn't overdo it because the lack of hydration can lead to fatigue very quickly."
3. What to eat
"Go for high protein and carbs! Trying to avoid fried foods during this month is easier said than done, but one life hack I've found is baking my samosas! Spray them with some two calorie cooking spray, and you lower the fat content massively. Eating a high carb meal at Suhur will leave you feeling fuller for longer as they take a long time to break down. Don't forget to drink enough water too!"
As Naymah says above, eating right is imperative in Ramadan because it helps ensure that the body will have proper fuel throughout the day. For example, smoothies are a great way to get a lot of nutrients in a small amount of time. Load them up with things like fruits, vegetables, hemp seeds, chia seeds and peanut butter for protein, complex carbs and essential fats to keep you going through the day.
Want some more top tips from Muslim pros?
Watch this video detailing how to exercise well during this month from legendary UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov: