Ramadan: Stay Active Even as You Fast

Published April 13th, 2021 - 08:10 GMT
Light activity for everyone who can handle it is recommended (Photo: AFP)
Light activity for everyone who can handle it is recommended (Photo: AFP)

Maintaining an exercise regime when fasting can be a challenge, but with the right diet, hydration, sleep and some modification to workouts, people can continue to stay active without exhausting themselves, said Dr Seher Ahmad, staff physician in the Medical Sub-specialities Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“Exercise in Ramadan helps one maintain a healthy weight, reduces the risk of illness, boosts the immune system and energy, and improves sleep quality and mood,” said Dr Ahmad.

“However, patients with chronic medical conditions must consult their doctor before starting any exercise routine.”

She recommends light activity for everyone who can handle it. “This could include a brisk walk or low-intensity resistance training, yoga and stretching exercises 30 minutes before Iftar. Avoid any intense exercise during daylight hours as it can deplete your energy and impact productivity and alertness.”

Those who exercise as part of their daily routine can continue to follow their regime safely with adjustments to intensity, based on how they feel.

“If your goal is to improve your weight, exercising 30 minutes before Iftar is a really effective way of achieving these goals because it stimulates the body to shred fat stores. You might consider jogging, cycling or swimming.

“However, if your goal is to maintain muscle mass and stay energised, a combination of cardiovascular, strength and resistance training are a great way to support this aim,” Dr Ahmad said.

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