Leading online trainer and fitness pro, Monir Kansoh shares 7 tips on staying fit, healthy and balanced during the holy month of Ramadan.
Adjust your normal exercise routine during Ramadan
The first few days of Ramadan are always the hardest, as our bodies adjust to the new routine. With this in mind, it is advisable to avoid any exercise for the first few days until our bodies are accustomed and adjusted to the idea of fasting.
Once the body has adjusted, devising a lighter exercise plan is a good first step. Remember that you are exercising to maintain, so don’t overdo it.
Types of workouts that are best suited to fasting
- Before suhoor. Ideally, the best time to exercise is just before suhoor, the pre-dawn meal. Drink a lot of water and wait half an hour before beginning your workout. Limit the workout to a low-to-medium intensity one in order to prevent muscle loss.
- An hour before iftar. If you choose to work out before iftar, be sure to lower the intensity since you have less fluid in your system. It’s important to not push yourself too much at this time by doing heavy weight training or intensive cardio exercises. Instead, opt for jogging, yoga, Pilates, cycling or moderate exercises.
- After iftar. If you prefer doing more intense exercises, then post-iftar is the best time for you since you’ll have more energy after refueling your body. Great post-iftar workouts include strength and conditioning exercises and HIIT. Make sure to eat well and have clean food afterwards to help with muscle recovery.
- After taraweeh. You can complete a medium-to-high intensity workout such as weight training at this time and also incorporate a pre-and post-workout meal.
Decrease the intensity of your workout
You don’t need to go all out in Ramadan. Maintaining your fitness regime during this time will not only clear your mind but also help keep your energy levels up and metabolism stable.
Best times of day to exercise during Ramadan
There’s no such thing as a perfect time to exercise during Ramadan! It’s all about knowing what works best for you, I’d advise you to try different workout timings and duration till you find the best time that works for you.
My personal recommendation will always be after taraweeh this is what works best for me.
Activities that could be used as a substitute for regular workouts
Brisk walking, cycling, yoga, jogging or playing a sport like squash, tennis or football.
Many clubs during Ramadan have tournaments, especially in football and squash. Join these tournaments as it is both fun and challenging which will help you maintain a healthy regime during this holy month.
Tips for avoiding weight gain during Ramadan
- Drink plenty of water between iftar and suhoor to stay hydrated.
- Avoid over-eating and eating oily food. Include more carbohydrates during suhoor to help you stay energized for the rest of the day.
- A protein-rich diet after breaking the fast will help the body to rejuvenate.
- Don’t forget that sufficient sleep is as important as a good diet and helps to control cravings. And don’t forget to go easy on the konafa.
A light workout routine suitable for most people
Do 15-20 minutes of any type of low-intensity cardio followed by 50 reps of these 6 exercises: squats, push-ups, sit-ups, superman’s, mountain climbers, and shoulder taps.
Then finish off with 4 sets of 10 to 30-second elbow planks.