Friday, 20 July 2012

Weight-train and physical exercise during Ramadan

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, July 19: With the Muslim holy month of Ramzan just a day
away, fitness experts suggest that those on fast should not
weight-train during the fasting period. The best time to exercise to
burn out extra fat or keep the heart in condition is after Iftar in
the evening or before Saher at dawn. Avoid extra salt as it might
increase thirst.

“Weight-training while fasting is not advisable. This can cause a lot
of burden or overstretch and can lead to muscle breakdown. It may also
cause a rise in catabolic hormone, cortisol. Strength may decrease
significantly if one trains in a dehydration state,” says body
transformation specialist M Ali Mohammed.

In his “workout and nutrition plan for Ramzan”, Ali Mohammed, who is a
certified fitness expert from the American Council on Exercise and the
American College of Sports Medicine, says the devout can burn fat and
gain muscle if they follow simple exercise and nutrition dips during
the month-long fasting.

According to him, the best time to weight-train during Ramzan is after
Taraweeh (special night prayers) since the devout should be eating
before any form of resistance training. “This will ascertain that you
will have multiple meals and plenty of water in your system before
working out.”

Ali Mohammed said if the Taraweeh time is too late, the devout can
weight-train about an hour after Iftar. A short 30-minute intense
training will be of immense help.

Dr Abdul Khaliq, gastroenterologist at Care Hospitals, says exercise
during the fasting stage will drain out the glycogen reserve in the
liver, leading to hypoglycemia or lowering of blood sugar levels.
Moderate food habits with low calorie foods will increase longevity.

“Taraweeh is a very long prayer. Those offering this namaz do not
require additional exercise. On average, the body needs 250 minutes of
exercise a week. Taraweeh gives more than this,” Dr Khaliq said. He
suggested eating hygiene foods and packed dates as loose dates might
be contaminated. “This is monsoon and chances of germs being
transmitted by bees are quite high”.

Referring to cardio-training for maximum fat loss, Ali Mohammed
suggest the time before Saher. “Drink plenty of water along with a cup
of green tea, white tea or coffee and wait for 30 minutes and perform
30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio training, like brisk walk
on a treadmill or moderate intensity cross trainer.” The next best
time for cardio training is about 45 minutes after a light Iftar.
Cardio should be limited to just two days a week during the holy month.

Recommended diet for Ramzan

Saher (pre-dawn meal)

Drink plenty of water at least 30 minutes before eating

Eat a good blend of protein, carbohydrates, and essential fats

Suggested foodstuff: chicken breast, egg white, oatmeal, protein
shake, Cinnamon, cottage cheese, red meat in moderation, bananas, raw
and dark honey, dates or raisins, fibrous vegetables, fruits, peanut
butter, flax seed oil and olive oil (extra virgin).

Iftar (sunset meal)

Some quality protein, dates, fruit juice, whey protein shake and
plenty of water.

Eat moderate to small meal even at Iftar

On weight-training days:

Take another meal before Taraweeh. Suggested intake includes chicken
breast or baked salmon, brown rice and some veggies or baked fish,
sweet potato, and a garden salad or some steamed vegetables.

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