Including six exercises you can do at home.
It might be tempting to put your fitness routine to one side as you focus on spending time with friends and family during the Holy Month of Ramadan, but this could be the perfect moment to elevate your general wellbeing.
Sandra Koeder, Master Trainer at Technogym Emirates, shares exactly what happens to our bodies during fasting, what to avoid and talks us through six routines you can do at home.
How fasting affects the body
“Fasting radically alters the diet. Meals are limited to the morning and evening, causing the body’s metabolism to slow. Some may experience discomfort during the day. However, good health can be maintained by consuming adequate nutrients during meals.
Some studies showed that people who fast on regular basis, lower their risk of contracting coronary disease. Other studies showed metabolic changes and lowers “bad” cholesterol levels and decrease in blood sugar level.
Fasting should be never undertaken to lose weight. Once the body has used up it is reserves of glucose, it burns fat for energy, which can result in some weight loss.
Some fasting can be good to increase insulin sensitivity, however it has shown to be clinically more affective for males, than females.”
Timing your workouts is key
“It is really important to train during the Holy Month of Ramadan and the best possible time to train is around 8pm. After breaking your fast, your body have nutrients to support your system.”
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Make training part of your routine
“Wake up as earlier as possible, maybe around 4:30am to have a quick protein based meal before fasting starts. Make sure to drink at least 2 large glasses of water and a good multivitamin at this time.
When breaking the fast at around 7pm, rehydrate and have something small – some protein, some low Glycemic carbs, and try to avoid sweets. Then you train. After training you can add in a bigger meal – again this can be protein shakes/ carbs as well as protein. How much carbs depends on how insulin sensitive you are.
Aim to squeeze another smaller meal at about 10pm and head to bed by 11pm.”
What to do more and what to avoid at the gym
Ramadan is ideal to work on your weak points. You can focus on your mobility, posture and improve exercising technique. Revise your training programme. Check if you are doing something wrong. Keep yourself on track. Focus on strength exercise, as you can maintain your muscle mass. Excessive cardio is not advisable, as will slow down your metabolic rate.
Introduce new sources of food in your diet. Try to eliminate sugar, junk food, caffeine, fried food and soft drinks.”
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These six exercises will help maintain your fitness.
Do it slowly and controlled in 1/2 sets 15-20 reps. You will need The Technogym Wellness Ball and small free weights/dumbells.
- Squat – This movement is relevant to the everyday life. Sitting down and standing up involves all the big muscle groups in the entire body.
- Side leg lift – Makes you work on the balance and stability of the whole body and of course hip muscle strength. You can always hold on to a chair in case you need a bit of support.
- Wide squat with the arms open – This movement improves the strength in your legs (inner thighs) and makes your shoulder strong and stable. For more benefits, try to do it extra slow. You won’t need more than one 1kg weight in each hand to feel the burn.
- Lunge with the arm on the front – Work up those glutes and connect through the core. Use 1kg weight, it is more than enough. Take it easy work on the quality of the movement in the full range of motion.
- Triceps – It is always good to integrate tricep work in your everyday life. This muscle group helps to stabilise and support any arm movement.
- Core with Technogym Wellness Ball – This will give you whole new feeling of your body. The muscles of the core belt are fully engaged in this simple movement. Getting full body stability in this simple exercise. Stay in a stable quadruped position with the arms on the ball and lift your knees 1 cm of the ground, hold for 5 seconds and bring the knees down. Back should be neutral and keep your tummy tucked in.
Have a healthy Ramadan.
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