When we go on a Fast, as in during Ramadhan, our body reacts the same way as when we go on a very restricted diet – our metabolism slows down. We may feel lethargic, restless and sleepy during the day, and are less motivated to be active, and of course, gain body fat easier. Exercise is crucial for maintaining your metabolism, keep burning those fat calories, maintain your figure and be in a better mood during the fasting month.
Why should I exercise during the Fasting month?
Anytime we lose muscle, our metabolism slows down. People who go on Fasts while avoiding exercise lose muscle (ever notice someone go on a diet-only program, and at the end of the diet, weigh less, but look fatter?). Losing muscle makes it almost impossible to manage your weight.
A good Resistance Training program combined with the right Cardio training will keep your muscles active, allow you to keeps burning calories, and help maintain your strength.
Exercise goal during Ramadhan: Do not lose Muscle! Perform 2 – 3 Resistance Training sessions per week, combined with some Cardio (30 – 45 mins total per session).
Can I lose body Fat during a Fast?
Yes! It's been proven that people who exercise during Fasting lose weight faster than those who avoid exercise during the Fast (Journal of Nutrition).
Studies show that exercise during Fasting may improve Fat burning and decrease insulin resistance. With insulin under control, Fat Loss and Weight Management gets much easier. Remember, never aim for weight loss – aim for Fat Loss.
Fat Loss Goal during Rahmadan: aim for 0.5 – 1kg max per week. Any more than that, and there is a greater risk of losing Muscle!
Does exercise make a Fast more effective?
A Fast, aside from the spiritual aspects, helps cleanse the body systems, flushing out toxins that we’ve accumulated over the many months and even years.
Exercise improves circulation and helps the body get rid of wastes.
Exercise, therefore, has the ability to increase the effectiveness of the Fast.
Exercise Intensity Goal during Ramadhan: make sure to adjust the exercise intensity according to your energy levels – you want to do just enough to get the job done, no more, no less.
Stephen Camille / Certified Master Trainer – Fitness Operation