The month of Ramadan is the perfect time for spiritual and physical transformation! But, understandably the heat combined with lethargy and fasting means exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. But what many people don’t realize is that your work-outs can actually benefit from this special time of the year.
The past year has seen a surge in fitness experts voluntarily fast to align with their workouts. Calories are kept to a specific timeline, and the six small meals a day recommendations are quickly being replaced with controlled fasting. Sounds familiar right?
That’s because the misconceptions about fasting and what it does to your body are being debunked thanks to medical research.
Fasting doesn’t lower energy levels if you make the most of your eating times. Obviously the first few days you will be tired as the body adapts to the fasting month, but by choosing foods that release their energy SLOWLY you will quickly find your energy levels return. Avoid the temptation of breaking fast with sugary or sweet snacks. Reach for fresh apple, home-made soups and non-oily meat dishes. The urge to eat sweet will quickly dissipate once you’ve had something small and healthy to eat so really the issue is control the urge to gorge! Like everything it’s about thinking ahead and making smart food choices.
Fasting doesn’t slow down your metabolism. This is the same for both men AND women. For some reason this myth is a common one among our female members. It takes a prolonged and consistently low-intake of calories (think less than 500 calories daily) for your body to go into starvation mode and that’s where your metabolism slows for survival. Fasting is merely moving your calorie intake to a different time of the day as opposed to a complete lack of food.
Fasting wont burn muscle mass and or reduce strength: Generally speaking, Ramadan sees a lull in our activity. If you have ever stopped working out for a week or two you would have noticed a small but significant change in your strength, stamina and muscle mass. This is simply because the muscles were not used and therefor didn’t grow. So if you are not active during the Holy Month of Ramadan you will most definitely see a decline in your physique but it’s due to inactivity and not due to fasting. So to counteract any potential muscle mass decline, make sure you are still working out during Ramadan with a focus on maintenance and not gains.
So don’t be afraid to work-out this Ramadan. Just take your sessions slowly, make sure you hydrate properly when you can and if in doubt ask your trainer for additional ways to keep motivated this Ramadan.