By Shawal Ras
Let’s be totally real; the thought of working out while fasting freaks me out!
Imagine yourself jogging, or cycling, or walking – generally sweating, to be frank – on an empty stomach? I bet you’d say something like this;
“LOL no thank you!”
This is the dilemma faced by many Muslims every year. I was one of those people who actually thought fasting is more than enough to lose weight. And speaking from my very own experience, thanks to my “oh I need to eat that and that and THAT before sahoor” attitude, I actually gained some extra kilos and last year was the worst.
Anyway, this year I told myself to not be in the same position again. I know, with mom’s delicious ayam percik on the table, this’ll be a huge challenge but I know we can do it together. Here are some tips I found online (and from a few friends who made it) on how to actually work it out during Ramadan.
Drink plenty of water in between Iftaar and Sahoor. I’m not telling you to chug two large bottles of plain water in one go but to keep yourself hydrated. The easiest way to do this is to drink a glass of water every hour. Plus, aside from helping you to be hydrated throughout the day, water maintains your body balance and also, it keeps your skin, body, and heart in shape.
Keep your workouts short. Ramadan is, after all, quite a tiring journey especially here in Malaysia where you’d be fasting for 12 to 13 hours daily. I’d say 30 to 60 minutes per day is a good duration for workouts, preferable after Taraweeh (if you’re opting for heavy and extreme exercises) or maybe you can take a walk around the campus if you’d like to do it before breaking your fast. But whatever your choice is, remember; don’t overdo it.
Sleep early. Let me tell you all the good things you’ll gain from getting enough sleep: high energy in the day, energised skin, healthy muscle tissue, and not to mention, enough sleep suppresses that appetite of yours. You need these advantages, especially when you’re fasting. Plus, getting enough sleep means you can wake up early for additional Ibadah to bond with the Almighty.
High intensity activities are not to be done on an empty stomach. These activities can cause injuries and may lead to complications such as low blood pressure (mind your glucose) or dizziness. Lowering your usual intensity is essential if you want to stay fit, healthy, and to survive the day.
Remind yourself that fatty foods are no good and they’re not your friends. Eat ’em in small portion, especially those fried chicken I know you’ve been ogling at the bazaar. Such foods will counteract everything you do at the gym. I’m not telling you to cut it all out but like any decent human out there, you can definitely eat those but be alert of your portion.
To wrap it all
In conclusion, aside from maximizing your spiritual offerings to Allah SWT, use the guidelines I listed above as a way of keeping your physical on the same par as your spiritual side and not stuffing yourself at night. And if you have anything to add, do write it out in the comment section below!
Photo taken from 5MU