GymNation’s Kate Austin gives her take on training during Ramadan
There is no wrong time to work out; however, fasting might deter the daily routine. As a personal trainer, I work with different people including high-level athletes. There is no evidence why people shouldn’t exercise, and while it is recommended not to train hard you can train smart while fasting. The best time to hit the gym during Ramadan is either two hours before Iftar or two hours after your first meal of the day.
Engaging in sports before Iftar will help burn fat by 100 per cent. While fasting, the body releases more adrenaline which makes you stronger; also, knowing that you are about to break your fast will make you push through!
Pro tip: Keep your routine light, try a moderate cardio routine for 30-40 minutes and avoid further dehydration.
Did you know that brisk walking for 30-60 minutes a day is a great way to keep your body fat in check?
During Iftar, ensure that you drink plenty of water and consume an electrolyte drink which will give you that extra edge before exerting yourself. Electrolytes can help restore your balance and avoid muscle cramps.
Working out 2 to 4 hours after Iftar is also recommended, which is the perfect time for weight training at a low intensity. The main benefits are that your body has the right amount of energy and you will be hydrated enough perform a light exercise routine, following which you can have a recovery meal.
Pro tip: Using SuperSet training techniques, performed at a moderate pace with moderate weights will help you focus. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) routines are best performed for shorter periods of time to preserve the source of energy stored in the muscle cells and prevent muscle injury.
The third option would be to train after Suhoor at about 3.30 am. I’m personally not a big fan of this time slot since late night activities can keep you awake and cause sleep deprivation, which can increase your appetite and make your fast more challenging. Seven to eight hours of sleep on average is important. If this time works better for you then set your alarm to have a light meal like Greek yoghurt, plenty of water and go for a moderate intensity cardio routine for about 30-40 minutes.
While fasting can be a natural way to detox and for your body to revitalise itself, this can only happen if you follow a healthy eating plan, and not over indulge during Iftar. The trick to avoid weight gain during the fasting period is by ensuring that 90% of your food intake consists of healthy and whole foods and maintaining your calorie intake. Also, you might want to take some extra multi vitamins and minerals to provide the body additional nutritional support that it might require.
On an average, we spend 45 to 75 minutes per session at the gym, so make sure you pick a time slot that works best for you!
Spotlight Kate Austin
Kate is a certified fitness trainer, health coach, model and an anti-bullying ambassador.
As a former gym owner, Kate has designed four successful health brands in the UK including Porthcawl Health, Fitness 2012, K2 Gym 2013, Ultimate Physique 2015, and established the Ultimate Army classes. She has extensive operational experience and industry knowledge.
Now a coach at GymNation, she covers strength and conditioning programs, and is the brain behind JumpNation, a fun and dynamic workout utilising mini-trampolines to make you fitter, stronger and leaner.
The healthy lifestyle advocate was Miss Wales 2010, heavy weight champion of The Flex Lewis Classic 2011 and a Patron of Bridgend Stand Against Bullying.