Besides the many benefits of fasting, working out also has several advantages that will keep you in good shape while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The Islamic month of fasting has started with Muslims around the world abstaining from food or drink from sunrise till sunset for 30 consecutive days.
Committing to a work out routine and a healthy lifestyle can be hard even on regular days, so it’s only natural for complications to arise when fasting for the majority of the day.
While many take advantage of this natural body detoxing period to radically change their lifestyle for the better, some even go as far as attempting to kickstart their fitness and weight loss journey. If the latter is what you’re aiming for, it’s important to know when exactly is best to work out to maximise your health results.
Doha News interviewed professional fitness coach, Maryam Sulaiman Alharoon to learn more about exercising while fasting.
What are the best times of exercising during fasting?
Training in Ramadan differs from coach to coach’s perspective and even from body to body, meaning there is no right answer to this question.
However, some people prefer training just before iftar because they feel more energised and can end their work out in time for a nice cold drink of water at sunset. Others prefer training after they break their fast to be able to perform more intense workouts, Alharoon told Doha News.
Read also: How to make a Ramadan lantern with your kids
“It depends on the person’s ability, training can be either done during fasting by performing cardio or low to moderate intensity workout for 30-45min, but for some it can be hard to handle which might lead to dehydration, fainting and cause of injury,” she noted.
On the other hand, working out in the first two hours after iftar could help people practice more intense fat-burning exercises.
“Ramadan is a great time to develop healthier habits such as reducing carb intakes and alternating fried food. It’s also a great chance to learn new training methods that lead to good results and positive changes,” she added, encouraging people to consider working out throughout month.
How is working out during Ramadan different to exercising on a normal day?
Many people consider working out in Ramadan way more difficult than exercising on a normal day since iftar and suhoor timings change sleeping patterns and people tend to feel less motivated or energised.
However, training in Ramadan opens allows us to become more self aware and take control of our habits, including daily food intake and calorie consumption. This is in stark contrast to regular days when it’s harder to commit and maintain inspiration when so many unhealthy options are around throughout the day, the coach pointed out.
Working out during Ramadan can also best maximise the many health benefits of fasting and detoxing your body.
What challenges could people expect?
Time and energy level play a substantial role when it comes to exercising.
During Ramadan, our biological clocks change and iftar and suhoor timings could lead to lack of rest, sleep-deprivation, and low-energy levels. There is no right answer but it’s important to choose a period of time that suits you best, in order to help you keep energy levels up, your mind clear and your metabolism stable.
“Always keep your mind ready for new changes and focus on challenging yourself by creating motivational goals to reach the best version of yourself,” said Alharoon.
Have you set a fitness goal this month? When do you prefer working out? Let us know in the comments below.