How to Maintain Your Exercise Routine During Ramadhan
The fasting month is a challenging time for many Muslims all over the world - and it is quite common for many to totally abandon exercising altogether. Today I've got someone who has done it successfully and knows exactly what it's like to fast and maintain an exercise routine. And as I'm not a Muslim, today, I'm more than proud to bring you some words of wisdom from none other than the super-awesome Coach Herny from my Body Transformation Camp.
As an instructor, to give you an idea of her workout routine, she's been teaching RPM (spinning) and Les Mills Bodypump classes Monday-Friday evening during the fasting month for over 7 years in a row! So let's get some pointers on how she does it right. Take it away Coach Herny…
Keep Going During Ramadhan
Ok, basically light exercise like Yoga, Pilates, and lighter weights/intensities can be done. Generally, you will want to avoid high-intensity workouts as you will get dehydrated. One really has to drink lots and lots of water, more than usual - at night and also when they do the "sahur" early in the morning at 5am.
Recommended Workout Timing
From experience, the recommended and more realistic time to exercise during Ramadhan is close to the breaking fast time - 6.30pm. I know the last few hours to before breaking fast will be the most challenging, but psychologically you will be able to to workout, really - knowing you will be rewarded with foods and drinks in 40-45 mins time :-)
Breaking fast would be around 7.15-7.20pm. It would be best to have your own water with you, or some form of recovery drinks/lightly sweetened drinks to help bring your sugar levels up and prevent that "cold sweat" feeling. You don't need something excessively sweet. Eating some dates/something light would help give some instant energy (but not excessively of course, especially for those who want to take the opportunity to lose some weight this fasting month). You can then consume more carbs around 8-9pm when the stomach has settled down - dates, drinks, recover, stretch.
After that, go back and have a more proper/complete meal. With proper nutrition, water and an exercise routine, the fasting month can be a really good time to 'take control' of the body size.
Some people would want to exercise at night after breaking fast, like 9pm, and though that 'sounds good', from my experience in fasting and working out, it just doesn't happened after all that food! Hence why I strongly recommend exercising in the evening just before breaking fast, like mentioned above.
Personally, I'd also advise against intense/heavy morning workouts, except for really light workouts - e.g. Yoga, Pilates, Body Balance classes - but certainly not our Transformation Camp style training in the mornings as you will have "cold sweat" and get dehydrated - sometimes experiencing a high body temperature, bad headache… which can be pretty serious! Many years ago when I first started to teach, I attempted a spinning class during the day… it was no joke. I almost passed out after that - with a serious headache and dizziness. I'll never try that again.
Apart from all these extra care of food, workouts and fasting - and getting into shape, you need to watch your food after the fasting is over on Hari Raya…..really!! All those weight loss efforts can go down the drain if you use this time to overeat! The weight will pile up easily within a week with all that rich festival food. You may have lost some 'scale weight' during the fasting month, but it may not entirely be fat loss - but muscle mass too. Thats why you'll need to keep exercising, plus it will be really hard to get back into the momentum after Hari Raya if one were to completely stop during the fasting month. Not good! It's good to have over 90% of our Muslim campers STILL WITH US at the Body Transformation Camp, and we're going to help them build on this habit and to reach their personal best.
Exercise and fitness should be part of our life - no matter where you are or what you do - even if it's while on a holiday or work… schedule your fitness as your lifestyle, and not only when you have the free time.
There are many writeups and stories you will read on exercising during the fasting month, but what I've shared above are from my own experience, which I think is the best, and not just 'theory'!
Comments? We'd love to read them - just leave a note below.Have a great weekend!
Coach Herny (& The DailyMuscle Blogger)