Thank you to Associates, Aliya Fazal and Salwa Qadir, for authoring this post on behalf of GoodLife’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Group!

Ramdan Mubarek!

Ramadan, the 9th month in the Islamic Calendar and a highlight of the Islamic Year is a month of self-discipline for members of the Muslim faith. Ramadan is about being more mindful of your actions. It is an opportunity to recharge one’s mind, body and soul. Regular prayer brings a sense of peace back into our lives, and by abstaining from eating and drinking, we shift focus away from indulgence and are reminded of how we can do better for ourselves and our communities. In the Muslim faith, good deeds are multiplied during Ramadan making charity very important this month.

A modified workout routine and fueling the body in an optimal way is key to staying energetic and making the most of this month.

Here are some ways you can do just that.

Maintain your routine prior to Ramadan

The Muslim belief is that it takes 30 days to establish good habits and break bad habits. If you have established the good habit of working out, aim to maintain that routine.

Your energy levels may differ from day-to-day, depending on a variety of factors including what you eat, how much you drink and your sleep schedule; listen to your body and modify your workouts, as required.

Stick to a certain type of workout

Try to stick to steady-state cardiovascular exercise (e.g., treadmill, elliptical or bike exercise). Monitor your intensity and work within 60 to 70 per cent of your fitness level.

When strength and weight training, keep repetitions to between 8 to 12 per set and set ranges between two to four. Consider longer rest periods between sets, as needed.

If you’re in a time crunch or not sure where to start, try the 20-minute FIT-FIX Circuit.

Incorporate low-impact Group Fitness classes into your routine. If you don’t know where to start, give the Group Fitness classes below a try.

  • BODYFLOW™
  • Yoga
  • SoulBody BARRE™ or Sculpt & Tone
  • Strong Body
  • NEWBODY™ or BODYPUMP™ (lower intensity to just a bar if needed)
  • Awesome Abs (Virtual Fitness)
  • Better Backs (Virtual Fitness)

Schedule your workouts appropriately

The ideal time to train is prior to opening your fast (iftaar) or for those who require supplementation for their workouts, after opening the fast.

If those times don’t work for you, create a schedule that works best for your lifestyle and routine (e.g., if you are busy preparing food prior to opening the fast, schedule your workout earlier in the afternoon rather than later).

Stay hydrated

Thirst is one of the biggest challenges we encounter when fasting during Ramadan. One of the best ways to combat this is to ensure you are properly hydrated prior to the start of Ramadan.

During the month, supplement with electrolytes, such as a cup of coconut water. If you chose to observe supplementary night prayers (taraweeh), take along a bottle of water and sip between prayers.

Additionally, practice nasal breathing to help minimize the effects of mouth dryness. Nasal breathing is as easy as inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.

Consume nutrient-dense foods

During Ramadan, we indulge in some of our favourite foods. Dedicate one evening of the week to allow yourself to enjoy these treats.

On other days, enjoy foods that are nutrient-dense. Bake foods that are normally fried and include plenty of fruits and vegetables to hydrate and nourish the body with micronutrients.

If you unintentionally lose weight during Ramadan, aim to consume enough calories from sunset (iftaar) to sunrise (suhoor/sehri). This can be accomplished by eating a meal at sunset, a second meal at night time/supplementary prayers (ishaa/taraweeh) and a third meal before sunrise.

Get enough sleep

Perhaps even more challenging than abstaining from eating or drinking during this month is the disruption of sleep. Remember that napping is part of tradition (sunnah), so make time to nap every day.

Ease back into your workout routine

Lastly, if you choose not to work out during Ramadan, ease your way back into your workout routine after Eid. Take your time to adjust the intensity of your exercise and ensure you are properly hydrating, sleeping and nourishing your body.