Are you struggling to maintain your training whilst fasting?
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims will embark upon a period of fasting which lasts from sunrise until sunset. Not eating or drinking during daylight hours adds another level of consideration to your usual training regime, particularly if you train frequently and at intensity. If you are smart about your training and have a plan, there’s no reason you should stop exercise or lose your fitness gains.
Here are 5 tips to help you maintain your fitness and keep training during your fast!
Hydration is key during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water during non-fasting hours and add some electrolytes to your water if possible. It is important to replenish your body’s fluids after a day of fasting. Try and time your hydration to complement your training. If it is early morning, make sure you hydrate well during suhoor. If you can, place your evening training as close to Iftar as possible so you can rehydrate once your session is complete.
2. Adjust your workout times
If you are used to working out during the day, consider adjusting your workout routine for Ramadan. Instead, schedule your workout when you have broken your fast in the evening or early morning before you start your fast. Of course, a lot of this will depend upon the availability of your gym’s class times. We tend to find many of our members like to attend the evening classes, shortly before sunset so they can follow their workout with their evening meal.
3. Consider modifying your training intensity
Depending on how you are feeling during Ramadan, you might need to adjust the intensity of your workouts. Consider doing more low-impact exercise or focus on developing your technique and form rather than aiming for personal bests. You may want to switch out more of your weightlifting movements for body weight movements or just a lighter load. Now might be the ideal time to work on that squat form, rather than focusing solely on weight. Speak to your Gas Station Coach or Personal Trainer, who can advise on how to reduce the intensity in your WOD’s if you feel you need to.
4. Fuel your body properly
Pay attention to what and when you eat during non-fasting hours to make sure your body is getting the fuel it needs. A balanced diet with some complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats will provide your body with the energy it needs to power through your workouts. Again, timing your training based on when you begin or end your fast will help you to make the most of your meals.
5. Prioritise sleep and recovery
Now is the perfect time to focus on recovery protocols. If your training time needs to be reduced you can spend the extra time working on some mobility, some low intensity cardio and perhaps some self-myofascial-release. Sleep can be more challenging when you are trying to eat around the daylight hours at this time of year, but it may be even more important than ever. During Ramadan, it’s important to prioritise getting enough rest to help your body recover from workouts and fasting. Try to aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night and consider taking a nap during the day if you need to.
Ramadan needn’t be the time of year that you stop working out altogether and accept a halt in your progress. Speak to your trainers and make a plan for your training. Your Gas Station Coach will be able to provide alternatives to reduce loading, volume, intensity or even all three. And sharing the journey with others will ultimately make the experience even more rewarding.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your training!
Written by James Macdonald – Coach