Fasting & Fitness: How to Stay Fit & Healthy During Ramadan
Ramadan is the month of abstinence and sacrifice. You spend 30 days without food and water from the wee hours of mornings to late evenings. This can make your workout regimen and diet go rather haywire. Since nutrition is a big part of any fitness plan, it becomes crucial to watch what you eat and when you eat during Ramadan.
One of the biggest concerns for gym-goers who fast is losing too much muscle mass. And for those following a diet, gaining extra kilos due to unhealthy eating practices. But, by being mindful of your health, you can avoid both these phenomena.
Here are some tips to keep yourself fit during the holy month:
1. Don’t Stop Exercising
When you’re fasting, you lack your usual energy levels. As a result, you might want to take a break from working out. But without exercising for a month, you will begin to lose the gains you’ve made and hamper your fitness level. That’s why it’s vital to continue working out even during Ramadan.
2. Modify the Intensity
While it’s true that you need to work out regularly, your body won’t be able to recover as quickly as it normally does. This is because you may not get the nourishment it needs at the right time. Moreover, engaging in high-intensity workouts will cause complications like muscle injuries, low blood pressure, and dizziness. So, lower the intensity of your workouts by lifting lighter weights and sticking to walking or cycling for cardio.
3. Change Your Routine
Without a doubt, your routine will change in Ramadan. You will be up before sunrise for Suhoor and eat your dinner after Iftar. To make sure that you have sufficient energy and can work out safely, you must:
- Work out before or after Suhoor
- Work out before or after Iftar
These will be the times when your carbohydrate reserves will be relatively higher. Make sure that you exercise for at least 30 minutes if you’re working out before meals. And, wait for 2-3 hours to help your food digest if you choose to do it after.
4. Watch What You Eat
It is very tempting to feast on kebabs, cutlets, and other fried delicacies after spending the day without food. But, like any other time of the year, eating a well-balanced meal is crucial to be fit. Eat foods rich in protein, carbs, and good fats while keeping fried food to a minimum.
5. Avoid Overeating
Watching what you eat is just as important as how much you eat. When you don’t consume anything for around 15 hours, you may feel that you need to make up for it. However, calories tend to add up fast and you may end up eating more than you normally do and gain weight.
Also, ensure that you don’t consume excess sugar as it only adds empty calories. Moreover, a sudden rise in blood sugar will cause a surge in your insulin levels. This will deplete your glycose levels and make you feel weak and sluggish.
6. Remember to Hydrate
Thirst is the best reminder for drinking water. But, during Ramadan, you can’t drink whenever you feel thirsty. That’s why you need to fulfill your body’s fluid requirements beforehand. Although, make sure that you don’t drink too much at once.
If you consume 2 litres of water in a day, try to maintain that amount by drinking at different intervals. Keep a bottle of water next to the bed so you can hydrate yourself if you wake up during the night. You can also consider drinking coconut water to replenish electrolytes.
With these tips, I hope you can maintain your fitness level this Ramadan.