Should You Exercise While Fasting?
It’s inevitable that our energy levels are lower than usual throughout the month of Ramadan as we adjust to new sleep cycles and refrain ourselves from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset.
Plus, fitting extra prayer time and increasing our good deeds into our regular daily tasks – it could result in a pretty hectic and tiring month, making it almost impossible to fit in exercise routines too.
But experts say that it’s important to not skip out on exercising. There is absolutely no reason to stop working out just because you are fasting. However, you must be wary of low energy levels as your body isn’t as fueled as it normally is.
Keep a self-reminder that we do want to still maintain a healthy mind and body throughout the month of Ramadan in order to fulfill our religious obligations, so the best way to do so is to eat healthy and exercise.
Here are some tips to stay active in Ramadan.
DO LIGHT EXERCISES
A report by the Independent UK delivered an explanation from Ayazullah Safi, an assistant lecturer and PhD researcher in the department of sport and exercise at Birmingham City University.
She said: “People should try to maintain active lifestyles where possible but during Ramadan light exercises such as walking, full body stretching, mat exercises as well as meditative exercises are highly recommended as this can help to keep the system working and blood circulation.”
Avoid intense exercises like heavy weight lifting, or even sprinting as it can lead to dizziness, and low blood pressure. Take it easy!
TIMING IS KEY
It’s great to exercise right before sunset, as you will soon break your fast. If you exercise in the morning after suhoor, you will not be able to drink and replenish the energy via water and food. But not everyone can afford the luxury of working out just before iftar, so another option is to workout one hour after eating. That way the stomache has digested the food, and you will have more energy to give yourself that extra ‘push’.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET
When you break your fast, try to control the type of food that goes on to your plate. Try not to consume food with too much salt or sugar, as it will increase thirst and you will likely face the consequences the next day. Break the fast with three dates first, as it is one of the many sunnahs of fasting. A GP, Dr Farah Gilani told Virgin Media Television, that it’ best to choose foods that release energy such as wholegrains, oats and foods that are high in fibre, to keep your energy levels going between meals.