Ramadan is the Muslim holy month, and is a period for fasting. The fasting period is from dawn to sunset and therefore it is forbidden to eat or drink anything for a long part of the day. While it may seem impossible to workout when fasting, it’s actually quite possible, if you make minor adjustments to your workout routine.
“Is it OK to work out during Ramadan?” is a question often asked. And the answer is, Yes, it’s totally OK to work out during the Ramadan fast.
If you’re healthy enough to fast, you can exercise during Ramadan as well. But you do have to think carefully about some aspects.
Ramadan fasting creates changes in your metabolism. That’s why you should make some adjustments in your Ramadan workout plan, primarily in terms of time and difficulty level.
How Should I Exercise During Ramadan?
Maintaining your normal workout routine during Ramadan can be hard because of interrupted sleeping patterns and a lack of liquids.
But this 1-month period shouldn’t be a reason to give up on exercising. The only important thing is to keep your workouts light during the daytime.
For example, you can go for a brisk walk if the weather isn’t too warm outdoors, or do easy/intermediate level bodyweight workouts.
You should choose less tiring and sweaty workouts, as cardio can be challenging during fasting because you won’t be able to drink water afterwards.
If you still want to do cardio, choose a light-intensity workout, limited to 30 minutes and limit the cardio workout to twice a week. And don’t skip your warm-up and cool-down exercises.
Another thing to remember is to start your workout with the upper body and then switch to lower body exercises. This will prevent your blood pressure from falling.
Workout Plan for Ramadan
Here’s a sample Ramadan workout plan:
- Beginner Burpees x12
- Kneeling Push Ups x10
- Side Lunge Right x12
- Side Lunge Left x12
- Knee Wipers x14
- Scissor Stretch x10
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The Best Time to Work Out During Ramadan
Given that the temperatures are higher during the daytime when you’re fasting and that you’ll be dehydrated, 1-2 hours before sunset or 2 hours after the iftar meal are ideal times for working out during Ramadan.
Before the iftar, you can go out for a walk, a light jog, or do light bodyweight exercises at home with fewer repetitions than normal. Higher intensity workouts can be done after you’ve broken your fast.
Another option for higher intensity workouts is before sunrise (suhoor), so that you can eat and recharge your body with food and water before starting your fast. Choose whatever best suits your metabolism.
Don’t forget to stretch, and don’t skip your warm-up and cool-down exercises.
If you’re a newbie to working out regularly or don’t normally exercise at all, Ramadan may not be the best time for you to start. Even if you’re an experienced workout addict, starting a new workout program isn’t recommended during Ramadan.
The Benefits of Exercising During Ramadan
By adding a Ramadan workout plan to your daily schedule, you’ll have a much healthier fasting period.
Here are the top benefits of exercising during Ramadan:
- Prevents muscle loss
- Helps to keep energy levels up
- Clears the mind
- Keeps the metabolism stable
To sum up
Keep exercise at a gentle level, drink plenty of water after breaking your fast and avoid foods that are too salty, sugary, or processed at mealtimes.
Instead, prefer foods with healthy fats, lean protein sources, and mixed, complex, slow-release carbohydrates. These will keep your energy levels high during the day and while working out during Ramadan.
Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. As always, the important thing to consider is your body’s signals. Don’t forget that Ramadan isn’t a suitable period to push your body’s limits – it’s a time to be moderate.