Exercising During Ramadan

Alhamdullilah as Ramadan once again has graced us in 2021! 

Ever since I started working on my blog, I have dreaded as I had never attempted to workout while fasting

As a Muslim, I had constantly been able to fast – abstaining from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset each day for one month. Besides rearranging my schedule to work around for meal times, we also had to make time for prayer and reflection. Blogging is a way of penning down my thoughts and it is undeniable that I have an outlet for my thoughts and had been spending less time explaining myself and my actions to others. 

When should Muslims work out?

As someone who is about to start on a new challenge, I’m wondering what is the best time to work out. I was contemplating exercising after I sahur but right before the cut off time or right after I break my fast. In the case where I choose to work out in the wee morning, I’ll still be able to drink as I do weight training and not get dehydrated but due to time constraint, I may not be able do it thoroughly. On the other hand, working out after I break fast enables me to work out with sufficient time and not rush the routine but when food is in, you might tend to sleep or chill and bloated to get motivated to work out. 

According to some experts, the best time to exercise in Ramadan is right before sunset as you can push yourself a little more knowing that you’re going to break your fast soon. Though it may be the most ideal, getting off work at 6pm and the journey home takes almost an hour, I’m afraid that this is not feasible for me.

I might be trying to work out both routines to see which work better for me in terms of schedule, efficiency of working out and motivational level.

I have been advised that the worst time to hit the gym/exercise is in the middle of the day. Rationally when fasting, the physical activity will exhaust ourselves and we are unable to refuel our energy. In the case where that’s the only time you are available, ensure that you are doing low-intensity workouts and the duration is between 20-30 minutes.

How long should they work out?

Now that you are motivated to work out during Ramadan, what is the recommended duration? 

If you are working out directly before or after eating, you may push to work out for a longer period of time. However as these would be my first attempt, it is recommended to gradually increase the intensity and duration. Fuad Hakim, one of my favourite local Tiktoker and online personal trainers, suggested for beginners like me to start off slow during the first few days of Ramadan by only exercising for half an hour. Once we have overcome temptation and tested our endurance by becoming more accustomed to fasting, it is fine to work out for up to an hour while fasting.

What type of exercise should I do?

Ramadan focuses on endurance and overcoming fatigue and temptation. It is not meant for you to push your limits or set personal records. It is a month of reflection and be taken as a time for consistency and maintaining fitness level. Continuing exercise routines is possible as long as the exercises are not too physically challenging and not under extreme heat which causes heat stroke especially in the absence of water intake. So less cardio as it requires me to quench my thirst with water drills and more strength training then.  

 

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