The act of fasting during Ramadan makes it hard to keep up with your fitness routine, but fear not as we have expert tips to help you stay healthy and happy in body and mind throughout the holy month.
The first few days of Ramadan are challenging as you adjust to a new routine, so avoid any exercise at the beginning until you body feels accustomed to the idea of fasting. Then, start with a light classes such as Yoga or Pilates, and then gradually increase your level.
One of our favourite spots in the city is Reform Athletica where after a 50-minute class focusing strength and conditioning exercises performed on the latest Lagree Megaformer machine – originating from Los Angeles, incorporating Pilates and gymnastics inspired movements – your body feels worked head to toe. Dina ElShurafa, Founder of Reform Athletica recommends to sticking to two workouts a week, keep Iftar meals light and hydrate well after breaking fast.
With long periods of fasting, it can be easy to make the wrong food choices when breaking fast but Banin Shahine, resident nutrition expert at Fitness First, believes in preparation before the start of Ramadan:
“I first prepare for the caffeine withdrawal. Two weeks before Ramadan begins, I start to prepare my body and delay my morning coffee to the afternoon which reduces the risk of headaches. Then it is all about how you manage your eating habits. If you eat and drink properly between Suhoor and Iftar, you will give your body what it needs in order to cope with fasting.”
“Carbohydrates does not just mean rice, bread and pasta, add high value carbs to your soups such as sweet potatoes, beets, squash and broccoli or add green leafy vegetables to your salad. With an unusual sleeping pattern, fish is the best source of protein as it is light, highly nutritional and full of good fats.”
Fasting helps renew your body and mind and create a deeper awareness of your soul. Dr. Sumaya, acclaimed Saudi Life Coach, believes, that inevitably, during fasting, you will begin to think differently – removing both physical and mental obstacles – it allows spiritual energy to flow freely, helping expand you spirit and balancing the thought train of ‘materialism’ and ‘spirituality’. Our tip? Find moments to stillness and solitude, whether at home or at the park or beach.