Ramadan is a sprint and not a marathon. It only lasts 30 days and is over before we know. The key is to assure we take full advantage of it and reap as much benefit as we can. The blessed month only comes once a year and brings tremendous rewards for us, however it depends on how we choose to utilize our time.
Most people get very tired during their fasts, they feel weak and the need to take long naps during the day. Many start to feel pain in their feet and lower back from standing in prayer for long periods of time and feel as if it gets hard to focus.
However, none of that should be the case. You should be energized and feel good throughout your fasts. Especially as each week passes, you should get stronger both physically and mentally. But that won’t happen without some effort on your part. You need to assure you are doing your part to be in the best position to succeed.
Your body releases a natural hormone called Endorphin. This hormone makes you feel happier and can help relieve stress. It will also help you increase your energy levels. This becomes super important during Ramadan when there is so much going and you want to accomplish so many of your goals. You need more energy and less stress, both of which working-out will help with.
However, how you workout becomes important. You do not need to go all out and be completely drained. In fact doing a workout that completely drains your energy, will do the opposite of what you are looking for during this month. Instead you want to focus on movement and slowing down each exercise. Focusing on building a strong foundation and one that will help you get stronger.
Even going for a long walk can help, but you need to make sure your heart rate rises. Increasing your heart rate is important to getting the benefits, so make sure to push yourself a little.
Improved Cognitive Function
Working out improves your focus and can help sharpen your mind. During Ramadan it can be tough to focus for long periods of time, resulting in you not meeting goals that you had set out before the blessed month had begun.
Improving your concentration becomes paramount in this month and physical activity will help you improve. The workouts don’t have to be long either, short 45 minutes will go a long way in helping you focus better and improve your memory. The workouts also don’t have to be super intense and can have a slightly slower pace than your workouts outside of Ramadan.
Improving Aches & Pains
Standing for long periods of time and or sitting in various positions on the floor can be tough. Especially if you are not used to it, it can really put a lot of stress on your body. The two areas that take the most stress are the lower back and knees.
The vast majority of people with lower back pain and knee pain don’t have bad knees or a bad back, rather it’s the lack of strength and/or mobility. The strength in your muscles allows them to take impact away from your joints and mobility allows our muscles to function better. If you have not taken the time to work on either of those, then that is the first place you should start.
Strengthen your core and mobilizing your hips will have a huge impact on elevating back pain. There is an entire workout program and mobility routine in The Healthy Ramadan Guide. Now when I mean core I don’t just mean your front abdominals muscles. Here are a few muscles it includes:
- front abdominals
- internal and external obliques
- lower back
- your big back muscles like your latissimus dorsi (lats)
- and even your glutes.
So you can see, strengthening your core isn’t just about doing sit ups, but rather having a full program that allows you to get stronger overall.
Imagine fasting for 14-16 hours a day for 30 days straight and still gaining weight. Unfortunately that is the case for the vast majority of Muslims. Non muslims get absolutely baffled by it, however we know the type of food we end up consuming during this month. It very quickly goes from the month of fasting to the month of feasting. On top of that, you are likely becoming very inactive. If you are sleeping for long periods of time and prefer not to use any energy at all, this will do more harm than good.
Of course your nutrition and what you eat will come first. Check out these posts on how to have a healthy suhoor and iftar. However your physical activity will allow you to really maximize your potential and get the full benefits of this blessed month. It is a great time to lose weight without giving up your energy levels throughout the process. Depending on where you start, a healthy number to aim to lose is between 5-10lbs in Ramadan.
With Ramadan fast approaching, The Healthy Ramadan Guide will help you have the best Ramadan yet! With a 4 week meal plan, weekly grocery lists, healthy recipes for suhoor, iftar and post-iftar snacks, and a full 4-week fitness program and daily mobility routine to reduce aches and pain. Through simple healthy eating and exercise you will be able to enjoy delicious food and stay active without losing focus on the priorities of this blessed month. Order your copy of The Healthy Ramadan Guide today!