By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Casablanca, July 27, 2012
If you are trying to challenge your religious commitment and your sense of discipline, then Ramadan is the endurance time par excellence. Intermittent fasting as stipulated in Islam requires Muslims to abstain from food, drinks and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk. During the fast, the low amount of calories will inevitably lead to decrement in physical performance mainly due to the dehydration and low levels of sugar in blood.
Yet, the sight of men and women jogging by the sea side in Casablanca and other Moroccan cities a few hours before the ‘Aazzan‘ (call for prayer when fasters break the fast) has become so common. Interest in sport seems to increase particularly during the holy month.
Gym goers usually try to minimize a metabolic shutdown by maintaining an optimal level of fitness during Ramadan. Let alone those who try walking and jogging for the first time in an attempt to take advantage of their cleansed body to restore health habits in their life.
Fitness experts advise those who are already in the habit of being active to switch their routine from the norm towards more varied and fun workouts. But the second category needs to think twice before engaging in sport activity, since the body is not so accustomed to intensive workout especially with nothing in their stomach.
The approach to sport during Ramadan should be cautious and moderate in order to avoid any health malaise. It is better to add incrementally tweaks to the fitness plan rather than trying to achieve physical prowess at this time of the year. Fasters should first try to bring some balance to their plates.
The quantity of food should be reasonable including proteins from chicken, turkey and eggs. Fruits and veggies are valuable sources of vitamins and carbohydrates. Fasters should also avoid saturated and Trans fats and replace them with olive oil, almonds and peanuts.
Professional trainers recommend walking for 15 minutes for beginners. For those who like to do some cardio, better keep a moderate pace an hour or two before breaking the fast.
They key to healthy body remains moderation in food as well as in Physical exercise. With moderation comes consistency and that is all Ramadan is about. The challenge for Muslims remain to sustain on the long run the same level of religious rigor and virtue they have embraced during the Holy month Ramadan.