Fitness & Training

This Ramadan Aim to Maintain with MYZONE

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 13, 2016 0 comments

The aim of Ramadan is to maintain your fitness and MYZONE can help you do just that. Nicky Holland, Fitness Manager shows how to utilise your MYZONE belt to get the most from your workout during the Holy Month.

For more information on MYZONE please visit our website.

Health & Nutrition

Green Vanilla Shake

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 12, 2016 0 comments


  • 1 cup of coconut water
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

This recipe is great as a a full post-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts: Provides  around 480 kcal with 19 g of healthy fats, 60 g of carbs, and 47 g of protein.

Almond Butter

Provides a great health benefits for the heart because of the healthy fats and fiber content, it has more 18 g of unsaturated fats with a low carbs content.


is an excellent source of vitamin A, Vitamin K, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B12, potassium, protein and vitamin C.

Coconut water

it is a natural sport drink, it is a natural isotonic drink, that provides the body electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.

Health & Nutrition

Ginger Strawberry Shake

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 10, 2016 0 comments


  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger root
  • ½ cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop of strawberry skinny protein

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Great as a post-workout or  pre-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts:  around 320 kcal, 50 g of carbs, 30 g of protein, and 7 g of fat.


has a lot of benefits for the digestive system, loss of appetite, motion sickness.

Almond milk

is a nut milk , high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. It is a great alternative for lactose intolerant people, and a great milk substitute for vegans.

Health & Nutrition

Banana Date Smoothie

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 8, 2016 0 comments


  • 1 medium banana ripe
  • ¼ cup of pitted dates
  • 1 ¼  cup of almond milk
  • Dash of cinnamon and sea salt
  • 2 table spoons of chia seeds soaked in water (for 1 hour)

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Great breakfast or pre-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts: 325 calories, 50 g of carbs, 9 g of healthy fats, and 7 grams of protein.

Chai seeds

Like flax seeds chia seeds are very high in omega 3, in fact it contains omega 3 more than salmon do compared one gram to one gram, omega 3 is very beneficial, for your concentration, memory, skin, vision, and heart health.


cinnamon can treat muscles spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, and common cold, loss of appetite, and can help maintain blood sugar in the body.

Fitness & Training

Get XFit this Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 7, 2016 0 comments

Dinis Timoteo, Assistant Fitness Manager at Fitness First Motor City explains how XFit workouts can really help you improve your technique during this time.


Fitness & Training

4 Best Times to Train during Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 6, 2016 0 comments

Over the thirty days of Ramadan, you need to do some exercise in order to maintain your fitness, but you don’t need to do what you are used to. The aim is to maintain and not gain. In order to do this, you need to have a strategy and work out a schedule according to your timetable.

There are 4 schools of thought when it comes to training during Ramadan.

All of them agree that you must cut back on the amount of exercise you usually do, particularly if you are a long distance runner or someone who does a lot of cardio work. During the fast, with high temperatures and no liquid from sunrise to sunset, you will compromise your health by pushing yourself too much. It is not recommended to do intensive cardio workouts and heavy weight-training exercises while fasting.

The recommendation is that you cut back to 2 cardio workouts a week. For weight training, the best times would be after Taraweeh prayers at night or about 1 hour after Iftar. Make a schedule for yourself and plan on exercising two times a week. If you really are feeling strong, you may want to add an extra day to that regime if you feel up to it.

When to exercise on those days is where the differing opinions come in.

1.   Exercise 90 minutes before sunset

This will make it towards the cooler part of the day. You will exercise on an empty stomach. The routine will be low key with more resistance training, stretching, less repetitions with slightly lighter weights and slow short jogs or brisk walks. Don’t exercise for more than an hour. The benefit of this is that when you have completed your workout, you are very close to sunset and you can drink water to rehydrate yourself. The disadvantage is that you are exercising at a time when you may be very hungry and thirsty. You do not want to compromise your health by vigorous exercise when you are dehydrated.

2.   Exercise after your evening meal

It’s never easy exercising on a full stomach but during the fast, after food seems the most logical time to get a routine in. As you are only exercising two or three times a week, on those days, you may want to eat a little to refuel your body, being sure to drink enough water to rehydrate yourself and then break your meal to do the exercise. That way, you will have more energy for the workout, but still have the opportunity to return to the meal.


3.   Exercise between 11pm and 2am

There is a train of thought that suggests exercising a couple of hours after the evening meal. If you are a night owl, you may discover that the best time for exercise is between 11pm and 2am. Once your night meal has settled, you will have energy and will be hydrated. You can try and sleep after work, so that you will not be overtired by midnight. Exercising at that time is cooler than day time, which is also helpful. If you exercise at between 11pm and midnight, you are still able to get a few hours more sleep until you get up to start the day.

4.   Exercise between 3am & 4am.

Early birds may want to go to sleep early and wake up early to exercise on an empty stomach prior to your early morning meal. This way you will have energy from the previous night’s meal, yet still have an empty stomach. You can hydrate while you exercise and on your return have your early morning meal. This method you get energized for the day ahead.


Whichever time you choose, remember not to overdo it. Force yourself to go at a slower pace than usual, continually reminding yourself that you are exercising to maintain and not to gain. Stop if you feel dizzy or lack energy. Rest frequently and do a low impact workout.

Fitness First Team

Fitness & Training

5 Tips to Help you Maintain your Fitness during Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 2, 2016 1 Comment

Ramadan is 30 days of no food or water between sunrise and sunset. It is a time of reflection and introspection, focusing on inner strength and discipline.  As it is a period of fasting and physical self-denial, careful thought must be given to how one exercises during this time and what one eats.

If you have any health issues and during the year you work out to stay as healthy as possible, it may be that you need to take a break from exercise during this month. Diabetics, for example, should seek medical advice in regard to their exercise regime and what they should be doing during the fast.

According to experts there are two main issues which need particular consideration during Ramadan:

Aim to maintain and not to gain

This means that during the fast, you don’t have to aim to improve your fitness. Your goal must be simply to maintain how fit you are. It has been said that if you do no exercise at all during the month of Ramadan, you could go back to the state of fitness you were in 4 months ago.  Your diet during Ramadan is very important with a key point being for you to eat your normal number of calories.

Watch your hydration levels

Dehydration during Ramadan can be one of the biggest issues. As you are not drinking or eating throughout daylight hours, it is easy to become dehydrated. With summer temperature rising, you need to have an effective plan that will ensure you have enough fluids in a 24 hour period.

With these two issues in mind, there are a number of strategies you can employ that will ensure you maintain your fitness, stay hydrated and end the fast healthier than when you began.


Here are five tips to help you maintain your fitness during Ramadan:

1. Change your routine

It goes without saying that our routine will change during Ramadan. You want to rise well before sunset so you can have an early morning meal. Also for your workout times, you may need to adjust your routine to Ramadan and plan when is the most comfortable time for you to train whether it is right before iftar, after iftar or before or after Suhoor.

2. Eat well-balanced meals

A well-balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates and good fats is most likely to sustain you throughout the 15 hours of fasting. Proteins such as eggs and fish or meat, you can include nuts such as almonds, carbohydrates such as sweet potato and fats such as avocados. If you are still hungry after that turn to fruit and cereal.


3. Don’t overeat!

There’s no end to the amount of food to eat before sunrise, but don’t go overboard. If you do, you will, as many people do, gain weight during this month. Avoid the temptation o overeat during the evening meal and eat until you are reasonably full. Try not to have too much sugar. A rapid rise in your blood sugar level will lead to an excess of insulin being released into the blood. This gobbles up the glucose and a few hours later you may begin to feel weak, miserable and extra sluggish.

4. Drink water

Make sure you have enough water to drink before you begin your fast for the day. Don’t drink too much in one sitting. You want to try and spread the amount of water you are going to drink over the night. If you can take in 10 glasses of water (1.5 litres) from sunset to sunrise, you should maintain a normal level of hydration. You can work out your water needs as the fast progresses. With particularly hot days, you may need more fluid. In the evening don’t forget to re-hydrate yourself. Take water with you if you are going out and when you go to bed at night, keep a bottle of water next to your bed. When you wake up in the night, drink at least a glass or two.

5. Exercise to stay fit

While you don’t want to overdo exercise during Ramadan, you do want to do some that will result in you maintaining the fitness with which you entered the fast. It is recommended to exercise for a minimum of two times a week if not more. Any form of exercise is advisable from low intensity cardio sessions to light weights strength and conditioning and body weight exercises.


Ramadan is an opportunity for you to break bad habits and start good ones. When it comes to what to eat during the fast this year, try and select only what grows or breaths. If you can pick it off a tree, grow it in the ground, raise it on a farm or catch it in the sea, it’s good to eat. Avoid all packaged foods. If it’s in a box or in a packet, it’s inevitably going to be loaded with preservatives, excess salt and sugar. Those products are going to be far less healthy for you and are to be avoided. To maintain your fitness during Ramadan, you want to maintain a healthy diet and keep your calorie intake at the level you usually need.

Fitness First Team

Health & Nutrition

Qamar Al-Din Smoothie

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 2, 2016 0 comments


  • ¼ cup Qamar al-din
  • 1 cup of frozen yogurt
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 cup of water

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Great as a post-workout meal.

Nutrition Facts: around 260 kcal, 27 g of carbohydrates, 30 g of protein, and 5 g of fat.

Qamar al-din

is dried apricot, very traditional in Ramadan, it comes in a jelly like form. A simple way do make Qamar al-din at home is to boil dried apricot to a thick paste and pour it on a surface which forms into a sheet. Let it set and dry to be later used.


has a lot of benefits for the body mainly the fiber content with this very good for chronic constipation.

Health & Nutrition

The Incredible Health Benefits of Fasting

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 31, 2016 0 comments

Ramadan is mostly looked at from a spiritual and behavioral aspect rather than the health aspect and its physical benefits. Fasting has long been known to have many health benefits, giving your digestive system a rest and sharpening your senses and awareness. We should look at this holy month as a month of healing, peace, tranquility and resting our body systems.

Some of the spiritual and behavioral benefits are known to many like being closer to God, feeling with the poor and needy, being grateful, learning to be patient, generous and giving. Also it’s about controlling your anger, being kind, forgiving and controlling your desires. So it is fasting on many levels with the ultimate goal of taking on better behavioral and lifestyle habits to improve your life in the long run.

The health benefits of fasting are numerous provided that we eat healthy balanced meals between sunset and sunrise avoiding over indulgence and keeping ourselves well hydrated.

Some of the notable health benefits include:

  • Detoxification where toxins stored in the body are dissolved
  • Weight loss by the use of fat for energy after glucose stores are used up preventing break down of muscle
  • Control of diabetes, lower cholesterol and reducing blood pressure due to fasting
  • Resting our digestive system giving it a chance to heal
  • Improved brain function thus reducing stress by producing brain cells giving a sense of peace and tranquility
  • Getting rid of bad habits and addictions like smoking and excessive caffeine intake thus improving lifestyle
  • Improvement in skin conditions and general health due to internal healing
  • Scientists discovered that fasting triggers stem cell regeneration and fights cancer

The first couple of days are challenging since your body is adapting to the fast but after a few days fasting becomes the norm. Apparently higher levels of endorphin appear in the blood, making you more alert and giving an overall feeling of general mental well-being.

Fasting teaches us to control our food intake and balance our meals because if we don’t we feel so bad, bloated and regret any over indulgence. It’s a learning process we go through every year to ultimately maintain this balance even after Ramadan ends. It’s one month only out off the 12 months of year where we go through this lesson and remind ourselves of the benefits of balancing our meals and eating mindfully.


Fasting is for everyone to try due to its proven medical benefits besides it’s physiological, behavioral, mental and spiritual benefits.

It’s worth it in every way…

Ramadan Kareem (meaning Ramadan is generous, the month of giving and generosity)

Fitness First Team