This year Ramadan begins on the evening of Wednesday, May 16, and ends on the evening of Thursday, June 14. Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, being kind to others doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends.

Fasting is one of the main components of Ramadan. During this time, many Muslims won't eat or drink between dawn and sunset. The act of fasting is said to cleanse the soul by freeing it from worldly activities, in addition to the abolition of past sins.

Keeping a regular exercise routine can be challenging but it is especially so when you are not eating or drinking for most of the day.

Finding the right time to exercise can be tricky. While exercising right before sunset works for some others prefer to wait until about an hour after they eat to have more energy. Find a time that works for you, without sacrificing too much sleep.

  • Do aim to maintain or enhance lean muscle building
  • Do light workouts (lighter weight, lighter intensity)
  • Do hydrate with pink Himalayan salt or magnesium, or coconut water to replace electrolytes
  • Do light cardio exercises such as walking or gentle jogging
  • Do workout when it feels best for you
  • Only workout if you are used to exercising
  • Keep workouts at 60-70% of your usual intensity
  • If you can, try to workout 1-2 x a week to keep active during the month and then return to your regular routine after Ramadan
  • Try to get a power nap in during the day. You’re going to get less sleep during Ramadan so a nap will help you with energy during your workout
  • Don’t disrupt your sleep to fit in a workout
  • Avoid high intensity workouts
  • Stop your workout if you feel dizzy or sick

Not sure you can make it to the gym? Try this quick 15-minute circuit at home:

  1. 20 squats
  2. 10 pushups
  3. 10 alternating forward stepping lunges
  4. side planks (30 seconds each side)

Perform each exercise, taking a 20 second break between exercises. After the last exercise rest 30-45 seconds and repeat. Repeat circuit 4 times

The key is to find what works the best for you, whether that means exercising at night or morning and listen to your body. If exercise is a part of your normal routine, try to maintain as least some sort of routine even if it is just 1 or 2 days a week. There are many health benefits to exercising while fasting as your body is much more efficient and is able to develop lean muscle as well as detox better during this time. Our bodies are not designed to graze throughout the day and it is very important to shut down the digestive system to allow the body to focus on other organs and repair. If working out when fasting is too much of a challenge for you it might be better to not exercise during until Ramadan is over.