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Ramadan: Fasting & Fitness

Navigating Exercise During Ramadan

Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, refraining from food and drink. Ramadan is a time dedicated to nurturing self-discipline and extending support to those in need.

The day begins with a pre-dawn meal called Suhoor, to sustain energy throughout the fasting period.

At sunset, fasting is broken with a meal called Iftar, often shared with family and friends in communal gatherings.

Special Ramadan dishes are prepared, reflecting cultural traditions and symbolic significance. While feasting is common, moderation and healthy eating are encouraged. Food in Ramadan serves as a means of sustenance and community bonding.

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The Lunar Calendar and Commencement of Ramadan

The Islamic calendar operates on the Lunar cycle, which is approximately 11 days shorter than the solar Gregorian calendar. Consequently, it begins earlier each successive year.

This year, Ramadan commenced on 12th March 2024.

Exercise as a Path to Well-Being

Exercise during Ramadan is important for maintaining physical health, boosting energy levels, and supporting mental well-being.

While fasting may disrupt normal eating patterns, engaging in moderate exercise can help mitigate its impact and improve overall fitness.

Additionally, exercise can contribute to a sense of routine and normalcy during this holy month, while also providing opportunities for spiritual reflection and meditation.

Incorporating physical activity into the Ramadan routine can therefore contribute to a more fulfilling experience overall.

Tailoring Exercise Regimens for Ramadan

When it comes to working out during this special time,┬áit’s essential to tailor exercise regimens to accommodate fasting hours and energy levels.

Prioritising light to moderate strength training (such as bodyweight exercises, or low-impact weightlifting) is generally more manageable during fasting hours compared to high-intensity cardio.

Many people prefer to schedule their strength workouts either before Suhoor or after Iftar to ensure they have sufficient energy and hydration.

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Listen To Your Body and Seek Support

It’s crucial to listen to your body’s signals, avoid overexertion, and prioritise rest and hydration during Ramadan.

While some may opt for more intense workouts after breaking their fast, it’s essential to approach exercise with caution and awareness of energy levels.

Seeking tailored support from a personal trainer can be immensely important, to align training programmes with individual needs and circumstances.

Kindness and Self-Compassion

Remember to show kindness to yourself during Ramadan. Fasting gradually becomes easier as your body adjusts to the new routine.

The initial days might be challenging with low energy and heightened appetite, but soon it becomes your new normal.

It’s important to keep things in perspective; Ramadan isn’t about dieting, and while staying healthy is important, it’s not the time to aim for personal bests or strive for peak fitness.

Ramadan Mubarak – may this holy month bring peace, and prosperity to all!