How To Keep Fit And Stay Strong During Ramadan
STORY: Farhan Shafie
12 April 2021
For our Muslim friends, Tuesday (13 April) is the start of the fasting month of Ramadan. From dawn till dusk , they will be refraining from food and drink.
While there is a drastic change in eating habits, it is possible to keep up with your exercise and stay fit. Here's how you can still remain energetic throughout the day.
Hydration is key
It is common to be dehydrated during the course of the day as you're fasting. Therefore, it is important to replenish these fluids during the non-fasting hours.
Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea as caffeine can cause increased urination. You can also increase water intake by eating hydrating foods. Try adding watermelon, for example, to your pre-dawn meal or eat it as a sweet treat after Iftar (the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan).
Don't skip Suhoor
Suhoor is an Islamic term for the pre-dawn meal which Muslims consume early in the morning before fasting. As the timing to wake up can be as early as 4.30am, it is super tempting to skip it altogether to get a little more shut eye.
But is is important that you don't miss Suhoor as it will provide you with the energy to last until you break your fast. Eating dates, oatmeal, fruit, vegetables, beans or chickpeas will provide you with a long-lasting source of nourishment throughout the day.
Have a healthy, balanced meal during Iftar
After more than 12 hours of fasting, you'll understandably be famished and ready for a feast. But over-eating will do you more harm than good.
Eating dates to break your fast is a traditional and healthy way to begin Iftar as they are a great source of fiber. It is advisable to consume something soothing such as soup which can easily be digested by your body and fill you with fluids, vitamins and minerals. It is best to avoid fried and processed foods that are high in fat or sugar.
It is possible to stay active while fasting. You just have to plan your day more strategically to be able to include your workouts.
Planning your activities after breaking your fast will help to refuel you and prepare you for the next day of fasting. At the very least, find time to take a walk or do some gentle stretching. An added incentive to eating lightly during Iftar is that you're able to head straight away to the gym and get your session in before having a well-deserved post workout meal later.
Listen to your body
At the end of the day, being in a fasted state will affect your body regardless of how much you prepare or make concessions. So don't push the intensity of your workouts beyond what is comfortable.
As long as you stick to a healthy diet and perform safe exercises, you can healthily go through your fasting during Ramadan. Think of it as a period of maintenance while you focus on the spiritual.
Here's wishing our Muslim friends a wonderful Ramadan ahead.