Many people believe that the long hours of fasting during ramadan may lead to loss of strength, stamina and muscles. But in reality there is no reason why one should discontinue workouts while observing the fast. The key to stay fit and energetic during this holy month lies in maximizing the nutritional arrangement of meals, maintaining your workout calendar and more importantly observing these two crucial points as a close assembly.
The strategy for successful workout during Ramadan is to maintain the current set of workouts. Modification in the time, duration, intensity or frequency may prove to be more distressing than profitable. If you have been inactive for some time then the best is to limit the activities to light walk, as change in activity index would cause the muscles to get tired faster, which may cause complications.
When to exercise?
The apt time to work out during Ramazan depends upon the type of exercise one plans to do. A Cardioroutine is most effective when carried out shortly before Suhur. These exercises leave one moredehydrated than the weight training, and therefore, should be limited to short durations. You may plan the weight training shortly after a light Iftar, which would work as a pre-workout meal, allowing you to take the all-important post workout meal, in the form of a balanced and protein rich meal.
What should be the diet?
For Suhur it is important to take a good combination-meal with an energetic mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat. Also, as it is suggested to carry out the Cardio exercises shortly before Suhur, make sure that you maintain a liberal intake of water to rehydrate the body and to maintain it through the long hours of fasting that follow. Lower the intake of salt and other sodium rich foods, as it might cause further dehydration.
Egg white (no yolk), oatmeal, banana, raisins, dates, nut butter, chicken breast are good options. Extra virgin olive oil / flaxseeds oil would provide healthy fat and a liberal intake of fibrous vegetables would keep you full for a longer time.
Iftar is the time to rehydrate the body after a long day of fasting. Begin with plenty of water and few dates. Dates have a unique blend carbohydrate and potassium which facilitates rehydration and provides energy instantly. The fructose present in dates also ensures a delayed supply of energy. Therefore, combining a light Iftar with a fruit of choice makes the perfect pre-workout meal, and prepares the body for the exercises that follow.
It is very important to take a generous volume of water after the workout, not only to quench the thirst, but also to rehydrate the system. Consider taking dates or potassium-rich fruits like banana, to facilitate rehydration and make-up for the energy losses. The main Iftar meal should be rich in quality protein and complex carbohydrates.
Tips to manage the Ramazan Fast:
- Don’t stop the exercises.
- Consider adjusting intensity of workout. Go easy on cardio and lift lighter weights. But never increase the activity index during this period.
- Maintain the timings of food and workout.
- Take sufficient water and other healthy drinks.
- Sidestep salty and sugary food.
- Take rest during the day and avoid unnecessary labor.
- Refrain from overeating. Your stomach cannot hold the food meant for two meals. Small portions of food, when eaten at strategic intervals, help in improving metabolism.
- Do not strain your body to work out. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseous while exercising.
- Manage timings and divide the meals into smaller portions that can be taken frequently between Iftar and Suhur.