It’s easy to fall out of a routine during Ramadan, and especially given the current climate, it’s making it all that more difficult to stick to our set fitness regimes.
And, of course, it’s all the more appealing to just switch off, spend time with family and friends during the Holy Month. However, given your body won’t be getting the normal nutrients it’s used to at certain times, it’s all the more important to stay on top of your fitness and wellbeing.
EW has sought the advice of Brazilian trainer Juliana Campos, who is the former fitness coach of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family, who worked with the family for over three years.
Here is Juliana’s seven expert tips to staying fit and healthy this Ramadan.
The best way to rehydrate your body
According to Juliana, it’s best to rehydrate yourself “at a slow, sensible pace so that your body absorbs the water properly”. “I would also recommend taking Vitamin C supplements and making juices or teas with fresh ginger and turmeric, as both ingredients are packed full of antioxidants and are great for the immune system,” she explains.
Continue to eat normally, just at different times
“Don’t overeat to compensate for lost time during the day,” Juliana says. “You’re not missing out on the calories, you’re just eating at a different time of the day – so consume that you would normally would.”
As for what you should be eating, ensure you’ve got enough proteins and healthy fats in your diet, especially for Suhoor – avocados, peanut butter, eggs and bananas are all great options.
The foods to avoid
While it is tempting to indulge in all the foods that are bad for us, you should definitely steer clear of doing so.
“Be sure to avoid processed, fried and salty foods, as these will dehydrate you and make the fast feel so much longer,” Juliana says.
The best way to break your fast
“Dates are traditionally eaten to break fast as they’re a nutritious, high-energy food source – but try not to eat too many, as they’re also full of sugar,” Juliana explains. She suggests following up the break in fast with a “clear soup to continue hydration”. The trainer also recommends a salad with watermelon cubes or other water-heavy fruits, and a nice tasty stew with chicken, legumes and lots of vegetables.
The best times to exercise
The number one tip when it comes to exercise: stick to a routine. However, of course, you’ll need to adjust the times you normally exercise during Ramadan.
“The best times to exercise are an hour after your early morning meal, or an hour after your evening meal, so that you have enough energy and don’t lose too much muscle mass,” Juliana says.
Don’t work out during your fast
Plain and simple: it’s best to avoid working out while your fasting. According to Juliana, “You risk dehydrating yourself at a time where you cannot drink water – and you can unbalance you’re sugar levels.”
Relax and don’t push yourself
While it’s, of course, important to stay on top of your healthy habits and fitness, Juliana advises for you “not to push yourself too hard.
“Ramadan isn’t the time to strive for your personal bests – be kind to yourself,” she says.
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