How to train during your Ramadan fast
Ramadan is a wonderful time of year, in which to spend time with loved ones, connect on a spiritual level, pray, cleanse body and soul and also reaffirm your faith. People approach the holy month in different ways and fasting is common practice to show self control but it’s important to keep in mind what’s happening to your body whilst doing so.
We believe there’s three main topics that need attention when it comes to health and fitness during this month: nutrition, hydration and training timings. Here’s some quick top tips to help you have a smooth and healthy Ramadan…
Preparation and knowing what to eat during non-fasting hours is essential for good health and endurance during the entire month. Ramadan is a time to give gifts and often high-sugar cakes, biscuits and sweets are floating around but as tasty and tempting as they might be, they need to be avoided. You really should be spending your time eating heathy, nutrient dense, non processed foods. Make sure you’re eating lots of green leafy vegetables and good sources of protein like chicken, turkey, salmon and white fish. Accompany this with low glycemic carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potato and oatmeal especially when your fast is about to begin in the very early hours, this will help you feel fuller and keep your body fuelled for a longer period of time – helping curb your hunger.
It’s really important to get this right. Make sure you drink sufficient amounts of water, and stick to just water during your non-fasting hours as coffee and high sugar drinks are only going to dehydrate you in the long run. It’s actually quite difficult to drink enough water to counter your fasting hours so keep a bottle close by at all times during your non-fasting hours. If you start to feel very dehydrated during the day and this may include feeling dizzy, having laboured breathing or cracked lips, spending 5-10 minutes in a cold shower can really help, if this happens, you know that you need to increase your uptake of fluid during your non-fasting hours.
It’s so important to exercise during Ramadan even if you haven’t been prior as it actually assists the body in disposing of toxins and other harmful antibodies that might cause dehydration later on. Many people have different working hours and ways of living during Ramadan but It’s important to pick a time to exercise that best suits you. We have found 2/3 hours post Iftar is most advisable as you will have fully digested your food and should feel energised by this point, there’s also plenty of time to eat again post workout.
If you are fasting during Ramadan, it’s probably not the best time to set new fitness goals but rather to focus on overall health and maintenance to make sure you can enjoy the holy month. That way, when it’s over you shouldn’t have received any negative health symptoms or been derailed too much in terms of your overall fitness and heath goals.
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