Top tips from EHPlabs athlete Nazia Khatun!
Every year I hear the same thing - time after time again: “I cannot train during Ramadan” or the dreaded “What if I faint or cannot exercise during Ramadan?”.
Ramadan does not have to stop you completing your fitness habits, in fact if it is done properly, you may even come out of the holy month better than how you started!
Not only is Ramadan the best month for me to cleanse, but it is also a deep spiritual awakening. Without exercise and supplements to recover I do not think it would be possible either. It isn’t just about refraining from food and water though, is it? It is about how we challenge our mindset, how we discipline ourselves when the basic survival means are restricted for the day, and how we elevate our energy and consciousness to a new level. Around the globe Muslims will be fasting and the touchy conversation around nutrition is always a great conversation, and so is "should one train or not?".
In different cultures and societies, big meals are a must at the end of the fast. Junk food, soda and sugar are all the things we crave for when hunger hits us hard, but it is also something that is worrying in modern society with so many diseases linked to food and lack of movement. Many people pile on the weight during Ramadan and scientifically it makes no sense especially after 18 hours of fasting, it also defeats the purpose of Ramadan for many people.
With that being said, I want to dive in with this guide and invite you to start thinking about a new approach that can benefit your mental health, productivity levels and enhance your energy.
As a former boxer, and being a fitness coach now, fitness is in my blood. Without it I am nowhere near my full potential, hence, why during Ramadan I appreciate the time off my main routine but it is also the hardest time for me to be human without a gym fix, over the years I have tested and trailed so many approaches to keeping up the routine. Many years I have trained just before breaking a fast and other years after I ate, hydrated and prayed. I would train hard and by day 13 I would be fully exhausted and wouldn’t be able to keep up with the fitness element of things and would spend the rest of the month just getting by. Here are a few important things I didn’t implement into my fitness routine during Ramadan in my previous years and I highly recommend that you do!
1. Hire a fitness coach
I offer this to my clients now as it is the most demanding thing during Ramadan. A lot of my existing clients fear that they will go back to old habits and all their hard work will slip, and it is easily done. This is not a time to stop training, in fact it is the best time to make a solid schedule as it will keep you healthier in many aspects than imagined. Timings can be hard so go search for an online trainer or join a fitness group for support.
2. Method of training adopted during Ramadan
Failing to keep workouts short and sweet meant I incurred injuries almost every other day. Now I will keep the workouts to 30 to 40 mins a day. This isn’t about a personal best or how fast you can run. This is about maintenance of your fitness in many respects. Lower the volume of workouts and keep it short and intense.
I know this sounds silly but it is so crucial to plan out the meals during the thirty days of Ramadan. It is easy to be eating mindlessly and before you know it the fried food and fizzy drinks become a staple part of the diet for the entire month (it takes between 21 to 90 days for habits to form so be very careful here) Opt for food in high protein and good fats and please for the love of god do not cut out carbs.
This is a major one to address and I wished I had taken my own advice on board and not act like a hero or miss I know it all. We all plan our meals for Ramadan and overlook the small things such as supplements. Since incorporating EHPlabs products I have seen a major difference in performance, mindset and recovery for the next day for Ramadan. I think recovery is by far the most important thing to remember here as the lack of sleep, stress levels and cortisol levels are out of control here. Not everyone is lucky to sleep in after the morning breakfast and this is something we must all re think in our approach to Ramadan in 2022. When the body lacks certain vitamins and minerals it is very natural to feel sad, fatigued. There are some basic supplements the human body needs and during Ramadan the food we eat isn't going to be enough to replenish the lost vitamins and minerals. Here is a list of supplements I recommend that makes a massive difference
Last year I did an online fitness live workout at 11.30pm at night. OxyShred Non-Stim was the talk of the month. OxyShred Non-Stim is designed for those who are stimulated by caffeine but still need a boost this is perfect for the night time champs who want to get a workout in. OxyShred overall is a thermogenic fat burner and is one of the best ones in the market without any jitters or feeling nauseous. This helps me stay more energetic for my night time workouts and perform better mentally and physically.
I was never very consistent with BCAA's but when it comes to Ramadan workouts it’s something I drink till I cannot drink anymore. This helps with recovery and muscle soreness and it is needed to replenish your muscles and feel rejuvenated for the next days fast. I found that adding Beyond BCAA+EAA to my water also enhanced my hydration levels. Incorporating this product into Ramadan meant I was able to train a little bit more intense and not worry about feeling fatigued the next day, I saw a huge difference in my overall performance and staying fit.
Do we need it or don’t we? And the short answer is YES! Unless you are hitting your protein intake during Ramadan then ignore, but the average person won’t be. The window to eat and digest until the next meal is tight, so a protein shake is the easiest thing for me to get in some extra protein. It also keeps me fuller longer and so easy to blend together right before the workout or after.
These three are my personal favourites during Ramadan but don’t take my word for it though, go purchase the products and test it out for yourself!
You can find me on www.naziakhatun.com and IG @fitnessrebornuk1
Wishing you all Ramadan Kareem and you leave the month better than how you started.