How to stay active while fasting during the holy month of Ramadan
First, is it still healthy to exercise during the month of Ramadan? Yes it is, but the key is to adjust your workout goals during this time. If your previous goal was to lose weight or gain muscle, then you need to forget about all that and instead aim to simply to maintain your current status. By doing this you will not compromise your immune system during the fasting time. Consistency is the most important goal to strive for during Ramadan.
There is so much eating involved and out of normal hours. How can those celebrating the Holy Month still exercise healthily? Firstly, reduce the intensity of your workout. If you normally run, reduce it to a speed walk. If you normally do weights for an hour, reduce it to 30-45 minutes. You can also use lighter weights for your exercises. Secondly, give yourself about two hours after breaking your fast before working out. Listen to your body while exercising and be sure to take enough water before, during and after your workout.
Even though fasting is involved in Ramadan, people still find that by doing it they put on weight? Why is this? Research has shown that your metabolism rate slows down during fasting. So a person can stay healthy during Ramadan consuming a diet that is less than the normal amount of calories, but it has be a balanced one. You should consume food from the major food groups: bread and cereal, fruit, vegetables, meat, beans, fish and dairy products, and try to avoid caffeinated drinks like Coke, coffee and tea. Also avoid having spicy food
What are the best foods for your body with which to break the fast? Along with dates, you can also consume fresh fruits or fruit juice with no sugar added. Fresh fruit has a lot of water, which will add to the feeling of being full, which can prevent overeating later. Also a bowl of vegetable soup is a good choice after your dates.
For somebody who always exercises during the day, is it healthy to change the routine and exercise in the evening? What are the problems with this? It won’t be a problem as long as you keep the intensity low and the duration time shorter than normal. A change in exercise timing could actually be a good thing for your routine in the long run. If you don’t have time in the evening, do 30-45 minutes of light exercise just before breaking your fast. I do not advise doing your workout in the morning, as the body needs water after exercise.
Which gym equipment is it more advisable to use during Ramadan? State-of-the-art cardiovascular machines – this includes treadmills, which are ideal for walking in a cooler environment. Also make use of the exercise bike, which offers a low impact cardiovascular exercise – ideal for burning calories in a safe way.
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Tips for training in Ramadan
• Decrease the intensity of your workouts and the duration, and make sure you drink enough water – at least one cup for every 10-15 minutes of exercise.
• Switch to activities and exercises that are fun and varied. If you enjoy them, you are more likely to maintain the workout for the whole month.
• With regards to your diet, you need to eat a balanced diet containing all of the right food groups. By consuming slow- digesting foods, including fibre, this will stay in your system for up to eight hours, while fast- digesting foods last only two-four hours. Slow-digesting foods including barley, wheat, oats, beans, lentils and wholemeal flour are what you should indulge in (not too much), while avoiding sugary foods, spicy food, and also caffeinated drinks.
• Taking a multivitamin during the fasting month could also help to maintain your body’s nutritional balance.