Keeping up your fitness routine during the Holy Month can often be a daunting thought. Abstaining from eating and drinking between sunrise, and sunset means the body is using up its energy reserves to keep you moving during the day. Not necessarily in the direction of the gym. But, fitness and fasting can go hand in hand. Yes, your body changes the way it behaves due to dehydration, a new eating routine, and disturbed sleep but adapting the way you exercise can ensure you stay healthy all month long. Trainer and Co-Founder of The Gym Dubai, Hud Russell shares his top tips.
1. Water is an important factor when training. If you are fasting and need to workout during your fast, it’s best to do it either just after you start fasting or just before you break your fast in the evening.
2. Avoid intense cardio sessions. The body is partially dehydrated, as well as blood sugar levels being on the lower side and deprived of sleep. Putting extra stress on the body by doing intense cardio sessions will do more harm than good.
3. Whatever you eat to break your fast should be light enough to allow you train, if training after breaking your fast. If you choose to train in the morning, make sure your last meal before starting your fast is a balanced meal consisting of something which provides prolonged energy such as oats, rice, bananas or sweet potato.
4. Take longer rests between sets as the body does not have enough energy from food to be able to recover as fast as usual.
5. Avoid junk food, it will only spike blood sugar levels and then drop them again leading to cravings and dips in energy. This makes it harder to train. Added to this is the potential for weight gain, as the body is likely to store what you eat and not burn it because of prolonged periods of not eating and less intense workouts. Keep meals balanced. Think protein, carbs and good fats.
6. Supplementation is still very important during the holy month. For example, a casein protein shake at night or just before you begin to fast for the day can help release protein slowly into the body, therefore feeding the muscles and body for longer periods of time. Glutamine and BCAA’s are also important during workouts if you are working out in the evening, for extra energy and recovery.
7. Aim to maintain your fitness levels, not progress during this time.
8. At night, drink one and a half to two liters of water during non-fasting periods to keep the body hydrated during the day.
The Gym Dubai is located on Level 1 of The Vision Tower in Business Bay