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How to keep fit with exercise this Ramadan

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With so many things happening in your life during Ramadan, it can get quite difficult to keep your fitness regimen in check. You have to meet family and friends, change your daily routines, and most importantly, fast from sunrise until sunset – all factors that can deter you from following through your fitness plans during the Holy Month.

We sought the help of Nathan Brown, Group GX Manager at Fitness First Middle East, to give us expert tips on how to keep fit with regular exercise this Ramadan.

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Stay Hydrated

As it’s generally coming into the hotter season, keeping hydrated is important for everyone whether you are fasting or not.

Plain water is sometimes not enough so you may need an electrolyte drink to replenish the sweat factor lost especially if you have been fasting. In addition, hydrate before, during and after exercise – it doesn’t necessarily need to be fluids,you can also source the necessary hydration from fruits as an alternative.

Vary your training

Your training needs variation during Ramadan. If it’s cardio training, do a combination of body weight exercises and equipment-assisted exercises. For example, perform body weight squats (50 reps), a treadmill run (Level 10+ 400 meters), body weight burpees (50 Reps), rowing machine (Level 10+ 400 meters) and complete the cycle four times. This will definitely burn the unwanted calories away.

For those who are fasting, complete only 25 reps, and run 200 meters for both the treadmill and the rowing machine, adjusting variation in speeds.

Resistance Training is imperative

Along with cardio training (TIP 2) – remain vigilant in obtaining resistance training throughout Ramadan. This could be in the water, in the gym lifting weights or at home walking up a flight of stairs. Either way you must look at resistance to maintain muscle tone and conditioning. The process I would recommend is attend a TUFF, Bodypump or XFIT class before or after Iftar.

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An alternative option is combine these weighted exercises and complete five sets in total. Station 1: Bar squats combined with Body weight squats (20 reps each) Station 2: Push-ups combined with Bar Chest press  (20 reps each), Station 3: Sumo High Row combined with a Dead lift (20 reps each) Station 4: Thruster combined with a Overhead lunge ( 20 reps each) Station 5: Sit ups, shoulder touching floor and hands reaching to touch feet (20 reps), Plank holds for (20 seconds) – complete five sets.

It’s all in the timing

Most government and private companies have shortened hours over Ramadan – this means you have the chance to train and exercise well before Iftar. It also means your timing to burn calories can be effective and more efficient results-wise. How? EPOC stands for ‘exercise post oxygen consumption’.

In other words, when you have exercised you will keep burning calories after because your metabolism is still in an active state. Remember the key is timing your workout right so you stay in the caloric working zone even after you have completed your workout and enjoying Iftar at the same time.

Don’t lose your motivation, keep moving!

DSC_0136During Ramadan, we tend to lose the energy or just can’t be bothered. If you use the escalators or travelators, keep walking. Don’t just stand there waiting for it to take you to the top as it breeds laziness. Avoid using the lift, use the stairs instead and walk as long and as far as you can when inside a shopping mall.