Worried about keeping on track with your health goals this Ramadan? Don’t worry, help is at hand.
We spoke to Chris from Advantage Sports to get some advice for how to keep your fitness routine going during the holy month.
“Fasting can be an obstacle for some of my clients,” Chris says.
“Many people can stress themselves out over their ability to ‘keep on track’ with their current exercise and nutrition regimes but this needn’t be the case.
“All you need to do is show a bit of flexibility and forward planning and you can keep going with your routine with little interruption.”
Here is Chris’ guide and top tips for training during the holy month.
When should you train?
This depends on your work schedule, current training regime and preference. But there are two good options:
- Train shortly after suhoor (sunrise)
- Train shortly after iftar (breaking your fast with a small snack first)
Should you reduce your training volume
The most important thing you can do with your training is to reduce your overall volume. The lack of food and water will directly affect your ability to perform at your best, so the simplest way is to set yourself a smaller target during the session.
Generally speaking you should aim to wrap things up in 45 to 60 minutes as an absolute maximum.
Structuring your diet
Watch your fluid intake
Water is the first and biggest concern during Ramadan. Water is a diuretic, so the more you consume, the more you lose – this means that by over-consuming it when you can, you dehydrate yourself further by making more bathroom trips.
Whenever consuming water, make sure you keep it a normal rate and by adding a touch of good quality rock salt to your food, you can also avoid excessive toilet trips.
Eat slow release proteins
During both suhoor and iftar, it is advisable to include more protein in your meals; slow-releasing proteins are better, but to be honest any will help.
Protein is the food source that will allow you to remain full for a longer period of time. It will also help maintain the balance within your blood sugar levels, at the same time preventing the inevitable dip in energy levels.
Beef, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy are your best sources of protein here.
Avoid excessive carbs
The traditional Ramadan meals heavily rely on carbs. By simply mixing these carbs with the protein and fat sources mentioned above, your body will begin to slow down digestion and avoid excessive rises in blood sugar.
Maintain your sleeping pattern
Sleep is your secret dietary supplement; a lack of it will lead you to feeling tired, grumpy, hungry and being unable to exercise.
Avoid drinking excessive water before going to bed, as this will lead to getting up more often at night to make trips to the toilet.
Also you should nap during the day if you have the chance and feel the need to.
Keep an eye on your calories
Fasting is a great way to reduce the overall amount of food you eat. I use intermittent fasting regularly, however don’t be under the illusion that just because you are fasting all day, you can ‘get away’ with eating whatever you like when you really shouldn’t.
Because traditional Ramadan meals tend to be heavy on calories and carbs, the probability of over-consumption is possible. Keep protein a part of every meal to help avoid this issue.
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