Ramadan was a chance for all of us to create and to reduce our calorie consumption and pave the way for a healthier lifestyle. There are a variety of workouts and nutrition plans that benefits the body differently. Yoga, gym, Cross-Fit, or even cardio which can be incorporated into any form of training are all healthy to the body and aid in the development of strength, endurance, and stamina. This is not possible, however, without the proper nutrition, which was hugely affected by Ramadan. That is because our bodies do not take up any carbs, protein, or vitamins as we fast until sunset, Maghrib prayer (6 p.m.). Hence, even if the workouts were not particularly strenuous, our bodies lack the strength required to complete them.
To get more insight, we spoke with Coach Samir EL-Degwi who is the founder of Transforma Fitness Company that aims to spread health and fitness awareness amongst Egyptians. El-Degwi is a veteran when it comes to fitness as Transforma offers a wide range of fitness activities and workouts that can range from Cross-Fit to weightlifting and even Padel fitness! For Ramadan he focuses on which work outs are best before and after breaking fast. Rowan Ashraf, a coach at Rahet Bally, a support platform for women that gives both physical and spiritual care, was also asked which works best and when.
What type of workout should we do before and after Iftar?
Weightlifting and other workouts that need stamina and high amounts of energy, according to El-Degwi, are better suited for after Iftar. But why is it the case? “Because to the fasting process, we are missing a large percentage of our nourishment and hence do not have the energy to lift and employ our stamina.” So, what’s the best way to get in a workout before iftar? That’ll be a cardio workout. “Cardio workouts help you burn fat and calories quickly, and they are the best workout if you want to lose weight.” Additionally, weightlifting would not be a problem after Iftar because you would have already eaten and gained much-needed energy from nutrition. It’s also a good idea to wait at least two hours after the Iftar meal to begin working out. You don’t want to go to the gym after a big meal because you’re bloated El-Degwi explained.
However, we must keep in mind that the type of workout you choose is entirely dependent on the goal you are pursuing, as Rawan Ashraf stated. Let’s imagine your goal is to increase your muscular mass. To boost the efficiency and strength of your muscles, you’ll need a strong diet when weightlifting. She also mentioned how many people come in for workouts immediately before Iftar, which is fairly frequent at fitness clubs. This is due to the fact that people are more inclined to put in a lot of effort if they will be able to eat Iftar straight after their workout. On the contrary, you won’t see many, if any, people working out early in the morning because they’ll have to wait a long time to break their fast.
How can we divide our meals and calories intake?
“Look, there are a lot of ideas here,” El-Degwi said, “but I recommend that people have a light Iftar…go workout two hours later, and then have another meal after a workout.” Mothers, on the other hand, are eager to attend fitness sessions before Iftar at Ashraf’s gym in order to promote healthy habits and transition smoothly into Eid and the rest of the year. However, El-Degwi cautioned against eating desserts, claiming that they are a major deterrent to weight loss. Nothing surpasses a cheesecake after a hearty meal, but keep in mind the calories and your health. Aren’t you aiming for something? Stick to your plan and don’t let anything get in the way she recommends.
Is it different for athletes and non-athletes?
Athletes and people who are fresh to the fitness scene are unquestionably different. Everything is remembered by our body, and we quickly adapt to the environment and work we do. As a result, a person who does not routinely exercise will be unable to perform a strenuous cardio activity before Iftar, according to Ashraf. Athletes who are used to working out before Iftar, on the other hand, would profit greatly if they maintained their habit, as the body becomes accustomed to this routine, according to El-Degwi.
How to maintain a healthy transition from Ramadan to Eid?
Athletes and people who are fresh to the fitness scene are unquestionably different. Everything is remembered by our body, and we quickly adapt to the environment and work we do. As a result, a person who does not routinely exercise will be unable to perform a strenuous cardio activity before Iftar, according to Ashraf. Athletes who are used to working out before Iftar, on the other hand, would profit greatly if they maintained their habit, as the body becomes accustomed to this circumstance, according to El-Degwi, “place moderate portions of varied food on a platter, including greens like salad, protein like beef or chicken, and carbs like rice or pasta, and seat somewhere other than the gathering table.” This will help you regulate the amount of food you eat and will hugely benefit you.
Both El-Degwi and Ashraf were quick to point out that after Ramadan, the true battle begins because there is more time and less of a routine available. Fitness has become a transforming journey for many of us, allowing us to connect more deeply with ourselves and understand our limits. There’s also a great feeling that comes with finishing a workout where you have pushed yourself to the limit and showed to yourself that nothing can stop you from attaining your life’s objectives.