Want to #StayFit in Ramadan?

By Red Bull Qatar

To many, the change of eating habits during Ramadan is either a golden opportunity to stay fit or the ultimate fear of gaining those extra KGs. Whether you are a professional athlete, a fitness fanatic, or just someone who is concerned about their wellbeing, there’s definitely a way to keep your body healthy and fit during Ramadan, without even compromising on all the delicious meals and sweets that trend during this period. After all we wouldn’t want to miss on that yummy stuffed vine leaves plate or the delightful Knafeh after.

The holy month of Ramadan comes with a set of rituals that alter our daily routine, with fasting being the main one. Be it the month of generosity, Ramadan’s kitchen tends to be extra generous when it comes to putting food on the table. It feels like every day at Iftar time you are in front of a food feast. Being deprived of food and water intake for more than 12 hours, the majority are prone to indulge themselves in the various food options. The million-dollar question is: How can you stay fit during Ramadan and not miss out on Iftar and Sohour menus? Let’s find out from the fitness experts at Anytime Fitness Gym in Qatar.

Pre Iftar Cardio Sessions for an Energy Boost
Pre Iftar Cardio Sessions for an Energy Boost © ANYTIME FITNESS Doha

Avoid the food coma.

Phasing your meals is key. You wouldn’t want to end up in a food coma at the couch after the first meal. “Be Gentle on your stomach and eat small balanced meals from Iftar to Suhour” says the fitness experts at Antime Fitness Gym in Doha. “Always try to break your fast with dates and liquids like water or soup to prepare your digestive system,” they added. For a healthy Iftar meal, the menu needs to include major macro nutrients – Carbs, Proteins, and Fats. Yes, FATS! Don’t get too excited though, make sure they are the healthy choice.

What’s on your training list?

Having no food or water while fasting might make the human body feel lazy. All you need to do is to trick your body with some energy refueling, meaning a workout. Don’t worry; it’s scientifically proven that everyone can train safely during fasting. The question is how and when?

Choosing the appropriate time to train is key. The Golden Rule here: Listen To Your Body. There’s no book to follow when exercising during or after fasting. Things work out differently for each person.

Training while fasting is a good way to loose fat. Yet, don’t over work it. “The tip is in light cardio workouts,” says Qatari High Jumper Mutaz Barshim. As a professional athlete who needs to stay fit, Mutaz recommends that it’s preferable not to limit your physical activity while fasting. “Your body responds to the training faster during fasting, this is how I maintain my wellbeing during the holy month,” he adds.

 

High Jumper Mutaz Barshim Stretching
High Jumper Mutaz Barshim Stretching © Flo Hagena

If you’re planning your Ramadan training sessions before Iftar time, here’s what needs to be on top of the list:

  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Stretching

These light cardio workouts are perfect for burning the calories gained from last night’s Iftar or Suhour meal and help keep the body toned, flexible, and detoxified.

If you’re feeling a struggle exercising during fasting hours, postpone the session till a while after iftar. Not a fan of Cardio workouts? No problem! Anytime Fitness has got you covered with an additional list of recommended sports:

  • Football
  • Swimming
  • Boxing
  • Martial Arts

While some might feel the urge to go full on beast-mode, trainers recommend to limit the workout session to a maximum of one hour.

Balance is key.

People are becoming more concerned about their health and wellbeing today. They strive to stay fit during Ramadan with all the food and sweets temptations on the Iftar and Suhour menus. “The key is in finding the right balance between your food intake quality and quantity, as well as following the appropriate training schedule,” wraps up Qatari Squash Champion Abdulla Tamimi.

Defining a healthy Suhour Meal
Defining a healthy Suhour Meal © khabarfeed.com

When can you have a cheat meal?

We all have this weakness towards the tempting “Cheat Meal”. “If you’re planning on having a cheat meal during Ramadan, better make it an Iftar one and not Suhour,” add the fitness experts at Anytime Fitness Gym. Suhour meal is meant to be an extremely healthy one that will provide the body with an energy boost for the upcoming long fasting day. Water is the main component, add to it vegetables and fruits to keep you hydrated during the day. When it comes to the food options, choose your proteins and carbs wisely here. An extra tip, if you want to avoid thirst while fasting, have a cup of liquid yoghurt (Laban) with your Suhour meal.

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