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How to stay fit while fasting

1 Apr 2024 How to stay fit while fasting

Muscat – During Ramadan, while fasting takes precedence, maintaining an exercise routine also emerges as a priority for many. However, balancing fitness with fasting requires careful planning and adjustment to one’s workout schedule. 

According to fitness experts, there are few people in gyms in the mornings, but evenings see a surge in activity, especially after prayers and iftar.

Jaison P Mathai, instructor at Perfect Fitness in Ruwi, offered valuable advice for those looking to stay active during Ramadan. He suggested minimising lower body exercises and reducing the number of compound sets. “Exercising during Ramadan is certainly possible, but it’s advisable to wait at least two hours after eating before engaging in physical activity. This period should ideally focus on lighter exercises rather than muscle building,” Mathai noted. 

He also cautioned against consuming high protein diets during Ramadan, given the higher water requirement for protein digestion, which could be challenging due to restricted water intake while fasting. “I advise against protein shakes or following a keto diet during these 30 days. Ideally, one should exercise a few hours after iftar or just before suhoor, while prioritising hydration to compensate for water loss through sweating,” he added.

Mathai stressed the importa-nce of moderation, recommending adjustments in the intensity and duration of workouts. Avoiding oily foods and sugar are also crucial during this time. 

He underscored the value of sufficient sleep, suggesting at lea-st seven hours to complement a revised workout routine. “To prevent injuries, it’s advisable to mo-dify core and compound exer- cises, focusing on push and pull exercises on alternate days, and incorporating lighter deadlifts, squats and bench presses.” 

Aymaan L, an instructor at Millennium Gym, also in Ruwi, reiterated the importance of personalised workout plans during Ramadan. “Consulting with a fitness instructor to tailor a workout chart is essential. Proper planning, including a two-hour gap after meals, hydration and smart adjustments to exercise routines, ensure a safe and effective gym session,” Aymaan said.

With most city gyms extending their hours beyond midnight, there is ample opportunity for fasting individuals to integrate fitness into their daily routine, provided they heed the expert advice on workout adjustments and nutrition.

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