There is absolutely no need to stop taking regular exercise during Ramadan, no matter what you thought nor what the temptation might be. As anybody who runs an intermittent fasting protocol all year round can tell you, training and fasting can go together incredibly well. Though your training schedule might look a little different- and though you may have to alter your program somewhat- you can keep up a decent level of exercise throughout the month.
To begin with, let’s dispel one of the worst myths surrounding Ramadan. Many people believe that it’s unhealthy to train during the month. This isn’t true: a Ramadan diet plan and fasting protocol is perfectly compatible with hard physical exercise.
In fact, you may gain some unintended benefits. Though you won’t be able to push yourself as hard as normal during Ramadan, you will be more geared towards fat loss. Fasting basically forces your body to burn fat, so it may well be worth scheduling a fat loss program to coincide with your Ramadan training.
Timing is also important when you’re training during Ramadan. It’s best to go either at the beginning or end of the day. At the beginning, you will be relatively well fed from your pre-dawn meal. You will also be fully hydrated. At the end, you have all of that to look forward to: train just before breaking your fast and then full yourself with nutrients and replenish your water levels straight away.
But what kind of exercise should you be doing, and what will be the most likely to succeed?
Home workouts: healthy Ramadan tips
There are certain styles of exercise that lend themselves really well to being conducted during a low energy, fasted state, and some that really should be avoided.
Chief of those that need to be avoided are high intensity exercises: if it’s taking your heart rate above 150/minute, give it a miss. This includes most forms of high intensity weightlifting, aerobically challenging activities like boxing or circuit training, and anything that will get you out of breath within around 30 seconds.
Slow or moderate exercises will be best and will be perfectly placed to burn fat when your body is in a fasted state.
Walking or light jogging are perfect and are entirely accessible to almost everybody. Cycling and swimming are also advised, as long as they are kept to a moderate, steady state, and exercises using lighter machines at the gym fit the bill nicely.
For training at home, try going out for a daily walk or jog. Alternatively, get a light pair of dumbbells and do some light training, keeping your heart rate low and aiming for a good pump over high reps. Stair climbing can be perfect, either at a walking pace, at a jog, or lunging, taking 2-3 at once. Light aerobics work well, so movements like star jumps and mountain climbers are worth looking at.
Alternatively, yoga and Calisthenics are perfect. They keep your heart rate to a mid-range, work a full range of muscles, aid your flexibility, and are a great calming influence in challenging times. They can be performed by anyone, anywhere: all you need is a yoga mat or soft carpet, your body, and a few handy YouTube videos.
The Ramadan diet
How can Ramadan food help you achieve your fitness goals?
Remember, Ramadan only restricts when you can eat and drink, not what you can eat and drink. If you already have a balanced, healthy diet, filled with fruit, vegetables, lean protein sources and healthy fats, you don’t have too far to go. Simply parcel it out sensibly, making sure that you get a good dose of slow digesting carbs at each meal, alongside adequate