Health & Fitness Tips for Ramadan
This year we are doing more to support our members during Ramadan. Check out our helpful blog below for some health & fitness tips for Ramadan, which includes a Low Impact Workout you can do from home or at the gym!
Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and growth for Muslims, but it can present a challenge for those looking to maintain their progress towards their fitness goals.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset can make it difficult to fuel your body properly and stick to a consistent exercise routine.
However, with a little planning and some adjustments to your routine, you can continue making progress towards your fitness goals throughout Ramadan.
First and foremost, it’s important to focus on nutrient dense foods during your evening meal (iftar) to provide sustained energy throughout the night. This could include lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to focus on staying hydrated during non-fasting hours to keep your body functioning properly.
It’s recommended to try and fit in 2 or 3 meals in your non-fasting window, this will depend on when you’re planning to exercise as well as the sunrise and sunset times for that particular year.
If you’re aiming to eat two meals you could aim for 8pm-9pm which could be a smaller meal with sufficient protein and then you could eat again between 10pm-11pm which could be a larger meal with another appropriate portion of protein.
One of the most difficult parts of Ramadan is the inability to consume any water whilst you're fasting, so aim to consume 2-3 litres of water in the 5-6 hour window where you can eat and drink.
When you drink your water is important too. To maximise your hydration and prevent impaired digestion, it’s recommended that you try to drink a litre of water immediately upon breaking your fast and then drinking more between your meals.
It’s not recommended to drink lots of water during your meals as this can make you feel full and prevent proper digestion of your food.
Also, if you do wake up before sunrise, it’s a great opportunity to get a good amount of fluid before you start fasting.
One final thing to consider with hydration is using electrolytes, they will contain salts such as potassium, calcium and magnesium which can help you stay hydrated more effectively.
When it comes to exercise, it’s best to schedule your workouts during non-fasting hours when you have the most energy. This may mean adjusting your usual routine to work out in the early morning or late evening.
Generally, it’s advised that you train after you break your fast, but as breaking the fast is typically a social occasion you might not want to miss out on that time with your loved ones.
Generally, it’s recommended that you avoid high repetition and keep everything in the 5-12 repetition range and your workouts should stay within a 45 minute time frame.
Your body will be depleted of glycogen (stored sugar in the body) so any high intensity exercise will deplete your glycogen stores and you won’t be able to replenish them until you break your fast which may make you feel tired, sluggish and unfocused.
It’s also important to listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity as needed. If you’re feeling sluggish or dehydrated, it’s okay to take it easy and focus on stretching or low intensity exercises.
In addition to the physical benefits, exercise during Ramadan can also have a positive impact on your spiritual journey. Moving your body can be a form of meditation and a way to connect with your faith.
Low impact workout for Ramadan
If you don't have any gym equipment at home, don’t stress! You can use things from around the house such as large water bottles, tin cans etc.
1. Warm up: Perform each exercise consecutively for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.
- Alternating knee taps
- Low impact jumping Jack
- Squat to Jab
- Twist and reach
2. First round: Perform each exercise in any order 12 times for 3 sets. Rest for 30-90 seconds after each set.
- Explosive squats
- Press ups
- Reverse lunge with kick
- Sumo squat to oblique crunch
- Squat to shoulder press
- Curtsey lunge bicep curl
- Dead lift bent over row
- Tricep kick backs
3. Ab round: Perform each exercise in any order 12 times for 3 sets. Rest for 30-90 seconds after each set.
- Mountain climbers
- Legs up crunch
- Bicycle crunch
- Plank Jack
- Single leg raises
4. Stretches: Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and move onto the next stretch, where needed ensure you stretch both sides of your body. Repeat stretches if you feel you need too.
- Arm across the body shoulder stretch
- Ear to shoulder stretch
- Chin to chest stretch
- Armpit stretch
- Standing side reach
- Tricep stretch
- Standing quadricep stretch
- Standing hamstring stretch