While Ramadan is a time of religious reflection and contemplation, it is also a time when we celebrate our cultural and social gifts. Ongoing COVID protocols make gathering in large groups not possible this year, however it’s important to continue to engage in sport and reap the multitude of benefits it brings. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your fitness regime during Ramadan.
Exercise helps to keep energy levels up, clears the mind, and maintains a stable metabolism so it’s important to keep engaging in sports during the Holy Month. For fasting fitness enthusiasts, it can be a challenge to maintain their training regimes, but it is possible. Studies have shown that – even when fasting – athletes can maintain performance during if their physical training, food, and fluid intake when permitted, and sleep are appropriate and managed well.
Firstly, it’s important to choose when to exercise. It’s advisable not to exert yourself during fasting hours so when planning any matches or training sessions, be sure to take timings into account. A good time to work out is just before your morning suhoor. It’s advisable to opt for a light-intensity exercise. For example, a thirty-minute walk or job at a steady, sustainable pace will set you up nicely for the day ahead. Training about an hour or so after Iftar is also an option but be gentle when exercising on a full stomach. Alternatively, opt to exercise late at night, after your stomach has had time to settle and you have rehydrated well.
When eating, be sure to choose your food wisely so you can stay optimally nourished. Eat balanced meals that include complex carbs, protein, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Try not to indulge in too much sugar and salt as these cause spikes in blood sugar and can contribute to thirst. Our food is our body’s fuel so choosing to eat well is crucial for general wellbeing. Ensure you drink enough water to totally rehydrate and sustain you throughout the coming daylight hours.
Finally, it’s important not to neglect your sleep. Sleep deficit is damaging to overall health and wellbeing, and your body needs rest to recover after physical exertion. So, be sure to get adequate rest if you want to stay fit during Ramadan.