Fasting from both food and fluid all day, every day, for an entire month, puts the body under stress. For many Muslims, that’s the point: the holy month of Ramadan is for spiritual reflection and devotion, self-discipline, and charity. It’s meant to be challenging.
And it’s almost certainly going to affect your work outs, which is why we’ve decided to catch up with one of the region’s top fitness gurus, Essa Al Ansari, to find out how can one maintain a healthy Ramadan.
When’s the perfect time to work out in Ramadan, before or after iftar?
“The best time to work out in Ramadan is right after iftar. Which basically means you need to break your fast with a very light meal; it could simply be a protein shake. Your main meal can be consumed after training.”
Is it even possible to lose weight in Ramadan?
“Yes, you can definitely lose weight in Ramadan if you eat healthy and focus on cardio training. I recommend high interval training.”
What’s an iftar/sohour that you recommend to everyone?
“Carbs, protein and vegetables — it’s really important to have these in your meal. Sohour should have carbs in order for your body to slow digest and give you energy the next day. I recommend oats, granola, Weetabix with cereal or fruits and vegetables.”
How many hours of sleep should one get in Ramadan?
“Sleeping is really important during the holy month, however, many of us tend to sleep and only wake up right before iftar which is defeats the point of Ramadan. I recommend for everyone to have 7 hours of sleep.”
Are there any more Ramadan hacks up your sleeve that you’d like to share with us?
“The best advice I could give to anyone is stay fit and active during Ramadan. Get involved in many physical activities, just don’t be lazy.”