Healthy Tips for Exercising in Ramadan

Ramadan is the month that is not only the blessing on you but also provides you an opportunity of get fit physically. This year Ramadan came in the middle of August and get further into the summer as the years go by. So besides the normal physical sacrifice of the fast, this year most people are concerned about fasting in the heat of summer and still having energy for their daily task which may also include exercising. When you are already exercising you do not want to stop all together because an entire month of inactivity can give you significant setbacks in strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Not to mention the mental and emotional effort it would take to become consistent again.
Here are 5 tips that will, Inshallah allow you to continue to stay active in Ramadan without over taxing your system and jeopardizing your fast.
1. Adjust Your Fitness Goals in Ramadan If your goals are to lose weight, get stronger or simply to become more physically fit put improvements on hold during this month. Make your goal simply to maintain where you are. Making fitness or weight loss improvements requires you giving your body a deficient of some sort which causes a reduction in energy, and often compromises the immune system. Both of these can significantly affect your ability to fast. So instead of overworking your system to get your body to change simply maintain where you are and prevent you self from going backwards.
2. Reduce the Intensity of your Exercise. Reducing the intensity of the exercise will allow you to stay consistent in working out without over taxing your energy reserve. If you normally run reduce to a speed walk. If you lift weights using 12lbs use 8lbs, and if you normally workout for an hour reduce your workout time to 30-45 minutes. The most important thing to do this month is to continue to exercise. Consistency is the key ingredient to maintaining your fitness level.
3. Combine Cardio and Resistance Training If you normally do both cardio and resistance training as a part of your workout and can't find the time or energy to do both in Ramadan then combine them both into a resistance training circuit. Circuit training in general is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and it has the extra benefit of allowing you to burn more calories in a short amount of time. A circuit is performed by doing 3-6 exercises in a quick succession without stopping between each exercise. Doing this will allow you to build muscle and increase cardiovascular endurance all in one workout. Here is a basic circuit you can do at home - - 10-15 pushups - 10-15 squats - 1 min jumping jacks (or walk in place) - 10-15 Bench dips - 10-15 lunges - 1 min jog in place (or walk in place) Repeat 2-3 times or until you have exercises for 30 consecutive minutes (or longer if you would like)
4. Be Consistent, Even if it is Small To achieve and maintaining any fitness level or goal is 80% consistency. Being consistent in doing something will make the biggest difference in having a successfully fit Ramadan. With getting up at 4am to eat zahur, followed by a 12-14 hour fast, getting to the Masjid for Tawarih which may not end until 11:00 in some cases, finding the time to exercise may be a challenge. But taking a 20 minute stroll will go a long way towards helping you maintain your fitness level and allowing you to ease back into your normal routine after Ramadan in done. You don't have to do your normal sweat n' to the oldies routine or 60 minutes of all out cardio. Do what you can, when you can, to maintain consistency throughout the month.
5. Workout When it Works If you feel the need to fit a good workout in you may have to plan your workout in your day. Instead of exercising when it's convenient choose a time when you have the most energy and it won't compromise your fast. This may mean waking up just 20 minutes earlier than you would normally for Zahur so you can work out and then eat immediately. Some people find they have a renewed since of energy right before they break their fast and that may be the best time to exercise. Pay attention to your energy level during the first few days of Ramadan and find a time that works for you. Whatever time or day or night your energy level allows you to expend extra calories without becoming fatigued is the best time of day for you to exercise

We must remember fasting the month of Ramadan is an obligation that Allah has commanded for his servant and no other priority should interrupt or sabotage the fast. It a time for the believer to get closer to Allah through doing something solely for the sake of the Lords of the worlds. Allah says ""Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving then times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, 'Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.' for the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk." [al-Bukhaaree]" Indeed there is no better health than the spiritual health and is facilitated by obeying Allah.

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