As Muslims across the world get ready for the holy month of Ramzan, they might be worried about their fitness and wellness needs. One may struggle during the initial phase of fasting before the body gets used to the daily routine. With all the changes to the eating and sleeping habits combined with the searing outdoor heat, staying fit during Ramzan in the summer months can prove to be challenging. A few tips to keep you going through the month:
Don't skip the morning meal (sehri)
Similar to breakfast in our daily routine, sehri or the pre-dawn meal during Ramzan, is the most vital part of the day. If you are fasting till sunset, you need a good, hearty and wholesome meal to keep you going through the day. No matter how tired or sleep-deprived you are, it is vital that you set your alarm at least 40-50 minutes before the Fajr prayers to enable yourself to wake up on time, prepare the meal, freshen up and enjoy it in utmost peace.
Go for whatever spells comfort food for you, whether it's khichdi, daliya, or chapatis and a vegetable curry. One good option is overnight oats with dates, fruits and nuts—pop oats layered with yoghurt, fruits and nuts laced with honey in a mason jar into the fridge the night before and take it out in the morning, eating straight out of the jar.
A power nap goes a long way
Overall wellness of the body is built on the foundations of sufficient sleep. Hence, one of the key factors of staying fit during fasting is catching up on that lost sleep with a 20-minute power nap during the day.
It is also important to note that these short naps should not be confused with long sleep because that makes the body more lethargic, which would in turn prevent you from staying productive throughout the day.
Stay hydrated and avoid the sun
One of the most crucial parts of fasting during Ramzan is to avoid dehydration while you fast. Gulp down as much fluid as possible during the morning meal as well as during the evening after iftar. You can make it more interesting with fresh juices, smoothies, protein shakes, and other similar drinks.
Coffee, tea, or sugar-loaded aerated drinks should be avoided as they might actually lead to increased thirst and ultimately dehydration. Avoid direct sunlight during the day.
Working out during Ramzan
It's best not to engage in strenuous exercise during the fasting hours as it might make you dehydrated but if you usually work out regularly, don't give up on all physical activity during this month. You can go for a gentle morning walk after the dawn meal, and following the evening meal. It's not a good idea to work out right after a heavy meal, so if you want to do some light yoga or stretching exercises before bed, wait for at least two hours after the meal.
After a whole day of total fasting, there is bound to be a strong temptation to overindulge at iftar, which may lead to lethargy, stomach cramps, and indigestion. You may even experience dizziness or low blood pressure if you eat a heavy, carb-laden meal too quickly while breaking the fast.
Break your fast gently, with a few dates and nuts along with fruit juices or lemonade to begin with. Wait for at least 15-20 minutes, and then eat a balanced meal with proteins, carbs and fats.
A simple hack to avoid hunger pangs is to consume foods that take longer to digest, so foods with high fibre content are ideal. During Ramzan, it is also important to avoid empty calories and junk food.