Ramadan has begun and during this holy month (April 12 – May 12) Muslims around the world use this time for prayer and fasting from sunup to sundown.
But while your routine will change, there is no reason why you can't exercise throughout Ramadan. You'll just need some planning and here are a few tips to help you:
- Workout when you feel best: This is different for each person and you’ll have to find the time that you feel best exercising. Some people like to exercise just before breaking fast, some right after and some late at night. This is a time to listen to your body.
- Start slow: If you’ve never trained during Ramadan before, start with short workouts of 10 or 15 minutes and see how you feel. If you feel good you can gradually increase them as the month goes on.
- Don't push yourself to your highest limits: This is not the time to be setting personal bests but instead to maintain your levels of fitness and strength with moderate levels of exercise. Try strength training instead of cardio or HITT.
- Eat a filling breakfast: Eat a good, filling breakfast (before sunrise) with protein and slow-releasing carbohydrates to keep you fuller for longer. Keep it simple so you can prepare your Suhoor (Breakfast) quickly, eat it, pray and get back to sleep.
- Eat healthily: Try not to eat too much sugar, salt, junk, caffeine or fried foods. During Ramadan it’s even more important to fuel your body with healthy, nutritious food that will sustain you while you are fasting. Plan your meals ahead and consider food prepping to avoid binging.
- Keep well hydrated: Drink plenty of water during your eating window to help reduce your risk of dehydration, keep your body functioning and keep your energy up.
- Get plenty of rest and a good night's sleep: You will be waking up earlier than usual to eat so try and get an early night to keep your energy up and cravings away.
Muminur Jalil, YMCA Children and Young People Manager