Articles for Good Living

Ramadan Exercise Practices

It is a progressive habit to maintain physical exercise during all the months of the year. Nevertheless the holy month of Ramadan holds its own customs that makes it different from the routine of life during the rest of the year.

In addition, the timings of waking and sleeping change deliberately, causing involuntary dehydration and therefore muscle weakness. There is a popular belief that physical exercises are not convenient in Ramadan, while the scientific truth is that there should be a simple modification to the practicing time and soon the body gets used to it. Thus, the benefits of regular exercise promote the expulsion of toxins deposited in the body throughout the year.
Young people usually prefer to exercise in the afternoon and before Iftar directly, first because it is a recess time where there are rarely any activities and obligations, and secondly because the stomach is empty and not distracted by running between the brain and the digestive system to feed the fat-burning muscle.

What are the best ways to exercise in Ramadan and what precautions should be taken?
-  Exercising in Ramadan is just like any other day. You should be prepared with appropriate sports clothing and then do warm-up exercises.

- The most appropriate physical activities during the fasting are walking and swimming. It is best to avoid jogging or doing aerobics which causes increased heart rate and will require more hydration for the body. Because of fasting the body will dry out quicker and this could adversely affect the muscles.

- It is best to do physical activities at least two hours after Iftar in order not to stress your body.

- Ramadan’s religious practices may impose unintentional physical exercise such as prolonged prayers, or, on the other hand, some people may sit passively for hours in front of the TV screen, which causes dullness and laziness.

- The times recommended by doctors to exercise during fasting are directly before Iftar or at least two or three hours after having Iftar. Practitioners warn of exercising directly after Iftar because the body's energy will be distracted towards the process of digestion and performing physical activity at the same time may cause some physical or intestinal disorders.

- If you are engaged in sports as a way of life or to lose weight, it is difficult for you to keep your habits in the presence of the temptation of Ramadan banquets and the subsequent television programs that encourage you to lie or sit still for six hours straight. To make your desired exercise easier it is recommended that you work with a family member or friend to get encouragement regardless of your mood.

- Drink water: water and unsweetened juices are essential to compensate for what fluid the body lacks.