This year, Ramadan 2023 is expected to fall between 23rd March and 22nd of April 2023.
A season of reflection and giving back, Muslims all over the world abstain from food and water from morning till night during Ramadan. This can take a toll on the body if you are not careful about what you eat and drink outside of those hours. Fasting can be good for your body. It does not have to mean that your fitness regime will suffer. Time management, flexibility and motivation are key. Here are some tips shared by fitness experts and nutritionists on how to remain fit and healthy during Ramadan 2023.
Focus on proper hydration
Dehydration is one of the most worrisome side effects during this month. It can lead to stomach cramps, dizziness, lethargy and general discomfort in some people.
According to Farhana Hussain, MSc. Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, “Get your body ready for the next day’s fasting by sipping on plenty of water through the night. Aim for at least two litres”. Make it a point to wake up by 4:30 am and drink two big glasses of water, along with multivitamin supplements.
While coffee and fizzy drinks might sound tempting, they should be avoided as much as possible. She adds, “The caffeine in these drinks is a diuretic. It makes you urinate more and hinders the absorption of nutrients, especially iron, in your body”.
Refuel with nutritious food
Nutrition is of utmost importance during the month of Ramadan. Devoid of food and water through most of the day, what you eat at suhoor and iftar becomes key. Stock up on plenty of calorie-dense, fluid-rich foods like whole grains, yoghurt, soups, stews, fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid fried food as it makes you thirsty.
Farhana recommends, “Foods that are high in fibre like bran, oats and cereals are digested slowly by the body and help to reduce hunger pangs. Combined with protein-rich products like milk, beans and meats, they make sure that your glucose levels are stable.”
Maintaining health while on holiday
Your aim to remain fit and healthy during Ramadan 2023 does not mean you can’t travel. On the contrary, take a nice long holiday in a luxury villa with your family this Ramadan and spend a blissful month in reflection and relaxation.
Our in-villa chef will take care of all your dietary needs for suhoor and iftar. The food can be prepared according to your preferences and you can pack in as much nutrition in your evening meal as you can. If you have any allergies, your chef will gladly accommodate them.
In addition to profound spiritual rewards, practising namaz (prayers) does wonders for your body and mind. Abrar Ansari, an IFSA-certified fitness trainer, explains that “Namaz is also a form of isometric contraction exercise. It greatly improves posture, regulates breathing and enhances the flow of blood”. If you’re suffering from back or neck pains, the combined movements of Ruku (bowing), Ar-Rafu (standing after bowing) and Sajdah (prostration) may provide relief by increasing blood flow in the upper regions of the body.
Think of Ramadan as a sprint, not a marathon. As you battle a time crunch and long periods of fasting, how you train becomes particularly crucial. Instead of going the full hog, Jonathan Singh, an EREPS certified personal trainer, suggests “Slowing down each exercise and focusing on a more ‘bang for the buck’ approach. Avoid starting any new workout routine during Ramadan”.
Enjoy an outdoor workout during the evening, when the sun is at its mildest. At an elite haven, surrounded by calming ocean views, you’re guaranteed an invigorating time. If you prefer a workout in the comfort of your villa, head to its ultra-modern gym. For extra benefit, book an in-villa personal trainer, who will customise your diet and workout in keeping with your specific needs. He or she will carry all the required equipment with them.
After a workout, pamper yourself with a rejuvenating in-villa massage. Outlining its benefits, Jonathan says, “A good massage not only improves circulation and lowers blood pressure, but also eases stress and provides a burst of energy. This is crucial for those observing Ramadan 2023.”
Be realistic with your body goals
Rather than focusing on building muscle, think of Ramadan as a period of maintenance. While you may think that a month of fasting will severely kill your gains and lower your strength, Abrar insists on being kind to yourself. “In my experience, it does not take very long for muscle memory to kick in and for people to resume their normal training”.
Jonathan agrees. According to him, “The key is perspective. Ramadan isn’t about hitting your personal best in the gym or aiming for peak performance. Aim to maintain what you already have. Don’t be afraid to add more rest days to your workout schedule.” It’s safe to work out every alternate day, with a day of rest in between or even more spaced out than that.
With these tips, you too can stay fit and healthy during Ramadan 2023. If you wish to escape the city for a while, book one of our luxe wellness holiday villas this Ramadan and spend some quiet time with your family in complete privacy.