Dubai: Ramadan is no excuse not to workout, say fitness experts who are fasting as well.
Marwa Mustafa Al Shikhah, Group Exercise Manager at Fitness First, who is originally from Syria and also pregnant and in her second trimester vouches for this.
She said her pregnancy or the fact that she is fasting during Ramadan whilst carrying her third child has not deterred her from getting a workout in every day.
“Fasting is a great way to treat your body for a detox,” she said. “It also helps break some old habits like coffee addiction, smoking, gives you stamina and mental strength. Added to this, a fitness workout can refresh your mind and body during fasting and I would recommend this to everyone.”
Al Shikhah gives online workouts and shares nutrition facts for those fasting during Ramadan. “There is nothing wrong in getting a good workout done whilst fasting,” she added. “It keeps your mind positive and healthy.”
She added that pregnancy has also not deterred her from working out while fasting.
“But of course consult a doctor before doing so,” she advised.
Fitness and fasting needs getting used to
Syeda Bushra Ali, a freelance fitness instructor originally from Pakistan, takes classes at fitness centres and said including a fitness routine during Ramadan can be a struggle in the beginning. “The first day I tried it, it was hard because my circadian rhythm (body cycle) was trying to get used to the new routine, but as you keep at it, your body gets used to it,” she added.
“The biggest concern about fasting during summer is keeping up with hydration levels. Include lots of fruits and vegetables as they are a great source of water. Remember around a fifth of your daily fluid intake comes from the food you eat,” added Ali.
“Have water rich fruits and vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, melon, broccoli, sprouts, oranges, apples, and blueberries. Breaking fast with some fluid and carbs is good. For those who crave sweets and chocolates, you can indulge in them but make sure you drink a lot of milk with it,” she said.
“As far as training during fasting goes, I would recommend people to focus on light intensity training before Iftar. If you are a late sleeper you can opt for a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout after a small meal at Iftar.”
10 workouts to do while fasting
Ukranian expat Victoria Antonyk, a personal trainer and group exercise instructor recommends the following workouts
- ABS - Try this twisting sit ups in 14 repetitions. Do the workout in three sets every two to three days. It works wonders on the abs and makes your core stronger. You also end up burning 300-400 calories.
- LEGS - Courtesy squats help make your muscles strong and gets them into a good shape. Do eight repetitions for each leg. In the end hold the squat in each leg for eight seconds. You burn up to 200 to 400 calories.
- UPPER BODY WORKOUT - Use a resistance band to pull one hand. This does wonder for your upper body strengthening and toning. Victoria recommends this two times a week.
- BACK EXERCISE - Not an easy exercise, according to Victoria. But do try the Superman workout in three repetition and do it two to three times a week.
- GLUTE/LEGS WORKOUT - Again use a resistance band for a good glute legs workout. Do squats in three repetition for a good legs and glutes.
- KALLANETIC WORKOUT - Do single leg squat to build your lower body into good shape. Do three rounds and don’t forget to breathe while doing it.
- CARDIO STAIRS WORKOUT - Enjoy anywhere indoor/outdoor. Do them in three to four sets repetition in the video. You will burn from 300-550 calories
- CARDIO WORKOUT - Get a good warm up going before a main cardio workout. Do them in three to four sets. Cardio increases your metabolism and helps to burn 350-500 calories.