With Muslims throughout the world currently celebrating Ramadan, leading fitness operators share tips for maintaining fitness or even beginning new activity regimes during the holy month.
Fitness First Middle East have issued advice that Ramdadn does bring challenges for working out, but staying fit is entirely possible if exercises you adjust their activity and eating. Fitness First Middle East Nutritionist Banin Shane explains:
“During Ramadan, it’s very important to work out because you need to move, especially since people feel their energy is low and they cannot move. Working out is very important to maintaining energy in the body. Especially for people who want to gain flexibility and lose weight, it’s very important.”
Fitness First Middle East Fitness Manager Trevor Flowers advises that the ideal time for a workout is during the one-and-a-half hour window before iftar. Flowers explains:
“There are many benefits to being active during that time-frame, including taking your mind off your appetite, motivating yourself with food right around the corner and being able to refuel when you’re finished. Alternatively, you can break up your workout by doing 30 minutes before your fast ends and reenergising with water and dates, followed by another 30 minutes. Remember to keep your intensity level light to moderate so you don’t exhaust your body. Exercises like yoga, pilates and light cardio work well to keep you active without being too strenuous. Variation is also necessary to ensure your body doesn’t stagnate. If you’re doing cardio training, do a combination of bodyweight stay active in ramadan exercises and equipment-based exercises. Resistance training works wonders as well, so try to attend a Bodypump, XFIT or TUFF (The Ultimate Fitness Firster) class before or after iftar.”
With nutrition crucial role during Ramadan, Shahine recommends three to five small, frequent meals after breaking fast, including iftar and suhoor, adding:
“A lot of people focus on eating one big meal and that’s it. It’s very important to eat small, frequent meals.”
In Australia, women’s-only fitness chain Fernwood advises:
“If you’re in the midst of Ramadan, it’s a wise idea to take your fitness goals down a notch and focus on your spiritual gains instead. “But don’t stop moving altogether; a month off physical activity will deplete your muscle mass, so it’s important to do some light exercise to maintain your fitness level and muscle tone.”
Fernwood also offer the following points on exercising through Ramadan:
• The best time to work out is about just before Iftar (the meal that breaks the fast.)
• Pick low-intensity activities like walking, and low-impact classes like yoga, Pilates, and Body Balance.
• Avoid intense endurance, plyometric, speed and agility training. Just aim to maintain, not gain.
• Stop exercising immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseous.
• Ensure you’re eating enough protein during your early morning meal before the sun comes up, to keep you feeling full for longer and help maintain muscle mass. Lean chicken breasts and meat, eggs, dairy products and beans and pulses are all good sources of protein.
• Make sure you eat enough carbohydrates at each meal to fuel yourself throughout the day.
• Avoid dehydration; load up on water, even when you’re not thirsty.
• Slowly break the fast with small dates (for quick releasing energy) and high-fat foods like avocadoes, nuts and eggs.
• Do your best to stick to small portions, even when presented with a full buffet of tasty temptations at a big family gathering.
• Avoid salty or sugary foods that will make you thirsty.
• Take advantage of our 24-hour gyms if you feel like doing a light cardio workout after you’ve digested your first meal. The ninth month of the Muslim year, Ramadan is a time where Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with the aim of cleansing the soul, focusing their attention on God, and putting selflessness into practice.
Click here to view Fernwood Fitness’ Ramadan tips.
Article sourced from Australian Leisure Management.