Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a perfect time to reset your mind and body, to really start understanding your relationship with food and to appreciate the food you’ve been blessed with. So start preparing your mind and body by making changes to your food intake right now. You can do that by reducing on sugary, salty and fatty foods.
So let this month be the month where you focus on your well-being not just physically but mentally and spiritually as well.
This article I’m gonna talk about working out during the holy month, about the when and the how, let’s start
When is the best time to workout?
Well it is definitely NOT when you are fasting! Only train when you know you can have food and fluid in your body.
Training when fasting can be more harmful than beneficial.
Training when your body is in starvation and dehydration can decrease strength and muscle mass significantly.
A research has shown that dehydrating a muscle by as little as 3% can cause a 12% loss in strength, and that’s not what we want.
The best times to workout are either:
1) After Iftar
This is an excellent time to workout because you’ve eaten a small meal and taken in liquids, which can act as your pre-workout meal and then consider your real iftar post workout.
However, it really depends on how much time you have between iftar and prayers.
If you choose to workout after Iftar, aim for a short 20 – 30 minutes session with slightly higher intensity, and this is my favorite timing specially when my iftar is just a banana, 2 dates and a dense smoothie to power me up !!
2) After Taraweeh Prayers
If it’s not too late, this is also a great time, because right after your workout, you’re able to consume your post workout meal or shake. This meal is essential for muscle recovery, muscle growth and can also help with fat loss.
3) Before Suhoor
To most of you and even to me, this might sound impractical, but if you have the mental discipline to get up really early in the morning and fit in a workout session, your morning workout can give you more energy throughout the day.
Drink plenty of water and you can even have a small snack 30 minutes prior to exercising.
After your workout, be sure to drink lots of water and eat a light nutrient dense Suhoor meal to keep you going through the day.
Types of Workout (Cardio or Strength Training?)
Another most asked question is “What exercises should I perform?”
Well cardio lovers, I’m sad to say that Ramadan is NOT the time to focus on cardio training.
Since Ramadan is where you lose muscle tone, it is more important to focus on resistance training over cardio.
So aim to do resistance training 2 – 3 times a week, and if you really want to fit in a cardio session, limit it to 1 or 2 days a week, performing 20 – 30 minutes of light to moderate intensity cardio.
This is to preserve as much lean muscle tissue as possible.
Water, Water, Water!
I’m gonna finish this with Water, Water, Water!! Aim to drink at least 2 – 2.5L everyday, especially on days when you’re exercising.
Spread it out throughout the evening so that you’re constantly hydrate and this allows your body to store water when you are fasting.
If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, either reduce or eliminate these drinks because they will dehydrate you.
Avoid eating or drinking stuff that’ll only make you thirsty such as salty food, sodas and drinks high with refined sugar.
Aim to drink water in its purest form and remember, keep drinking plenty of water!