With up to 18 hours a day fasted, Ramadan is not the time to be smashing PBs; but aiming to sustain active behaviour is encouraged.
Maintaining exercise activity is the key. It is certainly not the time to start on a new exercise regime so don’t be looking to up your reps, weights, distances, etc. Intense cardio sessions, plyometrics and heavy weights are not recommended to avoid strain on your body. Limiting cardio sessions to two per week may also be advisable. Your fitness levels will likely change and given the lifestyle changes this is understandable so should not be a cause for concern.
With interrupted sleep and dehydration, it can be hard to maintain a normal workout routine but finding the time to work out will help to clear your mind and keep energy levels up.
When to exercise?
- Before suhoor. If you are an early riser, before suhoor could be a good time for weight training with appropriate refuelling afterwards.
- Before sunset. This can be suitable for low-key exercise with resistance training, low reps and weights – plus lots of stretching. Or maybe a light jog. You can refuel at itfar and recover afterwards.
- After itfar. Soon after eating is not advised though weight training may be more manageable on a fuller stomach. Later in the evening, especially if you go to bed later, 2-3 hours after itfar, can be the better option, allowing your meal to have gone down a little.
- Ensure a varied diet.
- Foods high in slow-release energy are advised (oats, wholegrain, high-fibre).
- On exercise days add a little extra food to fuel your body, and ensure you drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
- Limit cardio duration due to limited glycogen stores.
- Hydrate well during non-fasting hours and especially before and after exercise.
- Prioritise load bearing activity to maintain healthy muscle and bone mass.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Ensure you get rest time during the day, including a nap where possible.
- If you feel nauseous or dizzy when exercising – stop.
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