Ramadan provides Muslims around the world opportunities to self-reflect, work on willpower and practice gratitude. It is a period for mental resolve and spiritual benefit.
Here comes the question: Should you exercise during long fasting hours or not? It largely depends on how you feel and how in tune you are with your body.
This is very individual and you can stick to the rule of doing things, including your training, in moderation. There is no right or wrong. Light exercise when fasting is a good thing — it helps to keep the system working and blood circulating.
These 12 exercises will help you to stay fit. They are not too taxing but at the same time effective.
Do each one slowly and in a controlled manner for 1/2 sets of 15-20 reps.
You will need a wellness ball and small dumbbells/free-weights.
1. Warm up
Walking or jogging — outdoor or on the machine.
2. Bicep curl
It is a must on a daily basis. Choose light weights and take care of the elbows; keep them slightly bent.
3. Side bending
Very important for spine mobility. Adding a small weight will help you engage the oblique core muscles on the opposite side of the body.
4. Row or lat pull
Great exercise for the upper body strength (lower back and arms).
This movement is relevant to everyday life. Sitting down and standing up involves all the big muscle groups in the entire body.
6. Side leg lift
Makes you work on the balance and stability of the whole body and hip muscle strength. You can always hold on to a chair in case you need a bit of support.
7. Wide squat with the arms open
This movement improves the strength in your legs (inner thighs) and makes your shoulders strong and stable. For more benefits, try to do it extra slowly. You won’t need more than one 1kg in each hand to feel the benefit of this exercise.
8. Lunge with the arms in the front
This will make your glutes go on fire and connect them to the core over the shoulder. A 1kg weight is more than enough if you take it easy. Work on the quality of the movement and the full range of motion.
9. Triceps exercise
It is always good to integrate it in your everyday life. This muscle group helps to stabilise and support any arm movement, so don’t skip it. Take it as an active break as it is very small muscle group involvement. Find a comfortable sitting position and enjoy.
10. Core on wellness ball
The muscles of the core belt are fully engaged in this simple movement. Stay in a stable quadruped position with the arms on the ball and lift your knees 1cm of the ground, hold for 5 seconds and bring the knees down. Back should be neutral or round (DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BELLY HANGING).
11. Core with single leg lower
This is a great move to get a flat stomach. Use a soft mat that will help you enjoy this movement more. Both legs are in the air bend at 90 degrees. One stays frozen and the other one tries to reach the ground. During the exercise it is very important to keep the lower back on the mat. Support the movement by pressing your arms into the floor. Alternate the legs and enjoy your core workout.
If you have time it is always good to stretch your body. Apart from muscle release, you will experience mental relaxation as well. Integrate few deep breaths with slow exhalation and you will be ready to enjoy your iftar.
If you choose to do only one set of each exercise with a warm up and cool down it won’t take more than 30 minutes. It is worth investing few minutes every day of your time to make your Ramadan more active and healthy.
— Sandra Koeder is the master trainer at Technogym Emirates.
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