Keeping Fit and Healthy In Ramadan
Twelve plus hours of fasting for 30 days is usually enough reason to just give up trying to stay fit in Ramadan. However, it's not exactly impossible (just really difficult). So here's how you could manage both those things while staying holy.
Eat healthy for both seheri and iftar; this is particularly important for iftar. Forget all those restaurant offers, because despite your stomach screaming "I NEED FOOD AND WATER" half the day, the screaming usually grows weaker by iftar time. Your stomach has a much more difficult time digesting these heavy foods after your feast even before you consider the fact that these offers are packed in calories that you definitely can't afford. Just keep having normal and healthy homemade foods. If you're looking for an adequate meal, a good call is to have filling foods like oatmeal or rice, with a decent amount of vegetables to aid digestion. Avoiding oily foods and excess spices during iftar is also a good idea since you've been starving all day. Add in loads of fibre and proteins to feel adequately full, and some glucose (perhaps some sugarcane juice) for an energy boost. Fruits and yoghurt are welcome too.
Before iftar: Working out about an hour before iftar will allow a safety net: even if you get super hungry and/or dehydrated, you can cover it up by simply having a solid and healthy iftar. This is surrounded by controversy, however. There are people who disagree with this method, as your body is running on its reserves and that's often not enough for rigorous training, and some claim an increase in vigour when training during fasting.
After iftar: This can get complicated. Some of us have tarawih prayers and it's hard to maintain an idea of whether you're overeating or not because you've been starving half the day. My personal method of tackling this is having the healthiest and easily-digested stuff during iftar. This way, I don't feel lazy and fatigued afterwards, and an hour or so later, my stomach clears up so I can begin my workouts. Once I'm done working out, I eat the heavier stuff, as my body is now primed to handle the more hardcore food I throw into it. The drawback to this is that it requires a considerable willpower to not go full glutton-mode and technically fast, even after iftar.
I would mention what types of workout to do and when, but there's plenty of controversy around what you should do. Ultimately, it boils down to doing what you feel comfortable with. Research plenty, experiment with caution and see what you come up with. Here's to staying fit and healthy during these trying times!
Rasheed Khan is a hug monster making good music but terrible puns and jokes where he's probably the only one laughing. Ask him how to pronounce his name at [email protected]