Once again, it’s the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims all over the world are fasting from dawn till dusk. But does fasting interfere with one’s workout? Many are wondering whether fasting will take a toll on their gains. Let’s find out.
Working out while fasting is not only okay, but might be more beneficial. However, your body is going through a sudden change of habits. This means that you should make sure that it is not derived from any nutrients, especially when coupled with working out.
Therefore, in order to work out and stay fit during Ramadan, it is imperative that you replenish your nutrients when you break fast. Here are some exercises to make sure you stay fit even while fasting. But before that, let’s go through the positive effects of fasting.
While fasting, your body essentially goes through a rest from all the digesting it’d have to do otherwise. This gives it time to focus on removing toxins and repairing damaged particles. The gut lining is also strengthened during this period.
Recent studies have shown that fasting can induce BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic factor) in the brain. This protein helps with growth, maturation and maintenance of brain cells. Scientists have found that the production of this protein helps with anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.
Studies on intermittent fasting has shown that people indulging in it have a sound sleep within one week of fasting. Therefore, even short-term fasting helps reduce premature awakening and unnecessary movement of the legs while sleeping.
Circadian Rhythm plays an important role in your sleep cycle, mood and the digestive and immune system of the body. Fasting requires one to schedule their meals. This in turn helps reinforce your circadian rhythm.
Fasting has several more benefits of its own. But fasting alone won’t keep you fit during the month of Ramadan. It is crucial that one times the workouts accordingly, or it could lead to fatigue.
The best time to workout is before you eat. In fact, exercising on an empty stomach has many proven benefits. It is necessary that one hydrates post-workout. Therefore it’s best to work on those gains before Suhoor or Iftar.
The best way to go about exercises while fasting is to keep them moderate. Opting to exercise in the morning will help your body reinforce its natural circadian rhythm that is induced through fasting.
While Cardio is alright during fasting, it can affect your performance for the short term. Athletes are advised not to partake in intermittent fasting weeks before their game for the same reason. It might take up to 6 months for the body to get used to the new habits.
The same goes for lifting weights. During Ramadan or while fasting, it’s best to keep the weight lifting exercises post meal.
Burst training such as HIIT can be performed by people who regularly keep fit. In fact, combining burst workouts with intermittent fasting does more good than harm. Sprint training is an efficient way to keep fit during fasting and aids the body more than aerobic exercises alone.
It is normal for people fasting to notice loss in weight. But the body goes back to its normal weight once the fasting period is over. While some studies suggest intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, Ramadan time might not be the best period to try it.
It is imperative that you drink plenty of water between Iftar and Suhoor and keep your body hydrated. One thing to consider is avoiding fried or fatty foods, especially when you’re working out. See the food that you consume as the source of energy for your workouts.
Therefore, be sure to eat healthy foods rich in proteins and carbohydrates to make sure your body stays in its best form.
Working out during Ramadan has no complications as long as it’s carried out moderately. Everybody is different, so try to understand what your body tries to tell you and stick with the workout plan that works best for you. Keeping away from cardio and lift training can also help you maintain endurance and muscle strength.
May this holy month of Ramadan bring you health and wealth.