The thought of exercising during the month of fasting is a daunting one for many, but some people prefer to take up physical fitness during Ramadan for one of two reasons. The first reason centers on a desire to maintain and sustain existing physical fitness, while the second focuses on the goal to lose weight during this month. Regardless of whatever the motivation may be, there are some critical guidelines that all those who exercise while fasting should be mindful of. Given that food and water is not consumed for at least 8-10 hours every day, if not more, it is important to follow this advice to stay healthy and strong throughout the month.
Eating the Right Food for Sehri and Iftaar
Eating deep fried and highly fattening foods during the two most important meals in Ramadan can actually lead to weight gain instead of weight loss. Your aim should be to eat nutritious and wholesome foods that will complement your chosen exercise plans. If you are used to having small portions of protein during the day, something that can’t of course be followed during Ramadan, you can make up for it by having protein rich foods for sehri and iftaar.
Most fitness enthusiasts include carbohydrates in their pre-workout meals. The best alternative to that during Ramadan is to include carbohydrates during your sehri meal. Experts recommend the following food items for sehri: At least 3 egg-whites (one yolk), oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter, and plenty of water. For iftaari experts say that 3 dates and a healthy shake or smoothie followed by adequate water, serves as good energy replenishment.
The quantities should be determined based on individual exercise schedules.
Sticking To Your Exercise Plan
Another important factor to remember is that if you regularly follow a fitness routine, do not put it on hold during Ramadan. You will lose out on the muscle mass you have painstakingly built up. Tone down the intensity of your regular workout schedule because 8-10 hours without food and water will compromise your regular nutritional intake. Shorten the time duration of your workout or add in a few low-intensity elements to make it easier for your body to cope with the stress. In any case, do not suspend all physical fitness endeavors; do enough to keep your muscle mass intact.
Choosing the Right Time for Exercise
This is often a pet question posed by countless fitness enthusiasts during Ramadan. Most people, especially those that want to lose weight, think it is best to exercise during their fast. However, expert advice on this matter is that since your body is already low on nutritional intake, it is not a good idea to put it through additional stress. Some of the recommended times for exercising include the following: before sehri, one hour after iftaari, after taraweeh prayers.
The Importance of Staying Healthy
It may seem tough at first, but your body will eventually get used to the change in nutritional pattern and exercise routine. It will take commitment and dedication on your part, but the satisfactory end results will be well worth the effort. Stay happy, stay healthy, and have a blessed Ramadan!