As Islam’s holy fasting month of Ramadan is getting closer, faithful Muslims who normally work out every day may wonder how they can keep up with their physical training programs when they are observing a rigorous diet. During Ramadan, those fasting cannot eat or drink from sunrise until sunset.
As Ramadan is observed for a whole month, many people change their training habits and schedules.
“I will start my training very late so that all the food I have eaten will be digested properly and that by the time I have to start fasting, I will have trained in the gym for two hours and eaten the required calories all before the Athan,” or the call for prayers, said Youssef Ibrahim, a first-year student at the The University of Manchester – Middle East Centre.
Some people prefer to cut down on their physical training program and focus on enjoying the religious month with their families. “For Ramadan, I’ll cut down on training from 1.5 hours every weekday to around 30 minutes every Thursday as training during Ramadan is not worth it,” said Faisal Abdul Jabar, a first-year student at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. “I want to celebrate Ramadan with my family and read the Quran when I’m done with my classes.”
There are others who view Ramadan as the best time to exercise because schools offer fewer hours during that month. “This Ramadan, I will start jogging after Iftar to lose weight as school will be only six hours and after Ramadan, the summer vacation will start,” Abdelaziz Almehiri, a senior high school student at the The International School of Choueifat, said in an interview. Iftar is the meal with which Muslims end their fasting day at sunset.
“I would advise beginners to start slowly and continue even after Ramadan ends,” Talal Alalami, performance director at the AIS Athletics academy, said in a phone interview. “As for people who are used to going to the gym, then focus mostly on your diet and not stuffing yourself during Iftar”.