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RamadanFitness

Health & Nutrition

7 Tips On How To Keep Your Energy Levels Up in Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 14, 2017 0 comments

How to keep your energy levels up in the last week of Ramadan

Sleep and Nap

Sleeping is essential for body, a healthy lifestyle includes healthy food, good hydration, and quality sleep. During Ramadan our sleeping routine is changed and we usually do not sleep much as on regular days. For better sleep, take 1-2 naps during the day, no more than 20-30 minutes each, to improve alertness and performance.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to give you an energy boost, help you sleep better, and most important maintain your weight during Ramadan. Exercise was always an issue for many people who are fasting, we always advise if you are used to exercise on regular days continue don’t quit, as for the time of exercise it differs from one person to another. Some people train before Iftar or a couple of hours after Iftar or even right after Suhoor. When you start training you will be surprised how much energy you have.

Supplement

Supplements can provide additional nutritional value to your daily intake. In one way or another, some foods lose some of its nutritional value due to cooking or just handling so we advise to add some supplementation to your diet to keep your energy levels up. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega 3, B vitamins (which are called the energy vitamins) are some examples. We advise you have some blood tests some before taking any supplements.

Preventative Measures for Osteoporosis

Hydration

Hydration is very essential nowadays, especially in hot weather, the main rule is to have at least 2-3 liters of water all through the night between Iftar and Suhoor so aim for 2 cups every 30 minutes. Avoid high caffeinated and drinks high in sugar.

Hydration

Small Frequent Meals

Keep your healthy eating habits the same during Ramadan, instead of having one heavy meal, divide your meal into 3-4 small light meals, even if you don’t have time, with only 30 minutes between the small meals. This prevents the tired and bloated feeling after eating a heavy meal.

Healthy meal

Yes for Suhoor

The importance of Suhoor is the same as breakfast as it’s an early meal. It has a lot of benefits for the body, fuels your body for the long day of fasting and gives you steady energy while fasting. Don’t miss it and remember remember you can sleep during the day, but you cannot eat. Citing Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) “Don’t miss the Suhoor, as it has a blessing”

Don’t miss the Suhoor, as it has a blessing

Don’t miss the Protein

Make sure your main meal during the Iftar has protein. Protein helps you feel fuller for longer time and it’s also great to boost your energy and metabolism. Keep in mind it’s considered the favorite food for your muscles.

Banin Shahine
National Wellness Manager
Fitness First Middle East

 

Fitness & Training

Yoga Sequences during Fasting

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 6, 2017 0 comments

Yoga is an ancient science which helps you balance the body, mind and spirit. Yoga involves breathing exercises which increases the capacity of the lungs, more intake of oxygen to the blood stream, poses which help you stretch the muscles increasing flexibility. There are meditation techniques which will help to control over the mind, which will keep the mind focused and have good control over the sense organs.

Design your yoga practice well avoiding dynamic movements and including calming poses and breathing exercises which focuses on the mind and soul.

Yoga sequences during fasting

All non-intense yoga is recommended during fasting. Sun salutations of low intensity with adequate intervals between poses is highly advised, there are few breathing practices and poses which help the body mechanism to function regular during fasting.

Alternate nostril breathing

A simple breathing practice which helps you calm your mind and give a good control over the mind, this also helps to regulate your temperature. Sit in any cross legged posture with spine straight and shoulder relaxed. Left palm on the left knee, right nostril is closed with right thumb inhaling deep through the left nostril. Closing the left nostril with right ring finger exhale slowly from the right, keeping the left nostril still closed inhale from the right. Now close the right nostril with right thumb and exhale from the left. This is one round of practice; continue doing 7, 14 or 21 rounds.

Forward bend sequence 

Backward bend produces heat in body and all forward bending like forehead to the knee pose gives cooling to the body systems. Forward bend relaxes the heart and helps the metabolism by creating a negative suction pressure to the abdominal organs. Sequences of forward bending help the heart to pump the blood to the brain and give a good control over the mind. Yoga aims to balance the body in order to still the mind, so cooling forward bends are perfect during the heat of summer while you are in fast.

Forward fold – standing

Has more effects compared to seating forward fold. Helps to energize the heart, focus on the balance gives you a good concentration and determination.

Other poses to try include Hip openers, Wide legged Pose and Half Shoulders stand variations.

Find out more on our Mind & Body group exercise classes

 

Fitness & Training

Plan Smart Get Results during Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 30, 2017 0 comments

If you`re thinking to have a Ramadan fat loss plan, killing yourself in long cardio sessions, training when you`re fasting, pushing your limits over 100% everyday, you are wrong.

The perfect formula for great results in sports, wellness and fitness should be designed in a perfect balance.

Ramadan is a perfect time to have a smart plan and get great results. We have selected 3 important keys to help you in your fitness journey during Ramadan 2017.

1st – Smart workout routine periodization

Your workout plan should be well prepared respecting your actual nutrition and based on what you wish to achieve. Ramadan is a time when we could name as a “recovery season”.  Imagine yourself being a high performance athlete and take your workout plan with a commitment of a professional elite player. During Ramadan you should not stop exercising, however we advise your training sessions to be on lower intensity and volume at this month.

Your body actually requires times to recover and to slow down, Ramadan is the perfect time you can manage to train in lower intensity and still get great results.

Note: MYZONE belt plays an important role to manage your workout session and help you to know limits.

2nd – Ramadan is time to socialize, but don` t go to far and avoid regrets.

The season of delicious, taste, heavy, full of fat and refined sugar traditional food. Surrounded from family and friends. We can easily get lost and regret right after Eid El Fitr. Understanding how to balance your choices will help you to keep on track and select the right portions you can allow yourself to enjoy this season. A great advise is to alternate the days you will stick with healthy meals and those days you can be allowed to cross the line to enjoy yourself. It`s important to remember the quality of what you eat and to know what will strongly affect your performance at the gym as well as your results in short and long term. Balance your choices and you will finish this season feeling and looking great.

3rd – Sleep well!!!

When it comes to Ramadan, sleep is very important and can have a direct affect on your results.

A great night in bed means 3 steps ahead to achieve your fitness goals. Take it serious and you will be wow impressed with changes that may occur to your body. Energy high up, control food cravings and reduce cortisol levels. Sleep is completely connected with stress control. High levels of cortisol is the poison of modern society.  It can cause heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and the list can go further.

Cortisol is also responsible for your belly fat, the one you’ve been working so hard to burn it. The best way to reduce cortisol levels is having a quality night sleep.

Switch off all lights, Instagram, Snapchat, mobile phone, TV and give yourself an extra 2 to 3 hours night sleep. Plan for 7-8 hours deep sleep. I know it’s hard but believe me! You will remember this advice for a life-time if you allow yourself to try!

Each goal comes with a different strategy and it`s important to understand what are your need are. Fitness First has a team of professionals that can help in your journey to organize the perfect workout routine, manage your nutrition and understand the importance of recovery.

Bruna Diniz
Fitness Manager
Uptown Mirdif Ladies 

Fitness & Training

To Train or Not to Train?

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 30, 2017 0 comments

That is the question – and there is no right or wrong answer! Every year as the Holy Month of Ramadan gets closer, there is always a debate as to whether it is healthy to train during this time – or even train while fasting. Other concerns such as eating too much or too little can also have an effect on peoples’ decision to train.

The answer is simple: it depends!

The reason why it depends is because it depends entirely on your body. It is important to know and understand your body’s limitations and knowing what your body can handle. If training is a regular part of your daily or weekly routine, then training during Ramadan shouldn’t be an issue – the limitation might then be to understand how intense your training should be. If training is fairly new to you, then taking this Holy Month off might be the better choice. Again, this comes down to understanding your limitations.

When to train during Ramadan?

Another question that is asked quite frequently is when to train. Because hydration is one of the most important things during exercise, it is recommended to train right after a light Iftar meal. However, if staying hydrated between Iftar and Suhoor is an easy task, then training while fasting might be alright for your body. Know your limitations!

If you do decide to train, here are some points to keep in mind when designing your training:

  • Try not to push your body too far; keep workouts short and at low intensity
  • If training is new to you, try some light cardiovascular exercises and mobility work to keep the body moving
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water between Iftar and Suhoor to keep the body fully hydrated
  • Try to keep high intensity workouts until after Iftar meals. This way you can give the body fuel for energy
  • Try not to eat too many fried or fatty foods so that it doesn’t counteract your hard work and fitness achievements thus far
  • If you start to feel dizzy or sick, stop training and lower the intensity. Remember, any movement is better than no movement at all

Whatever you decide – whether to train or not to train – make sure you understand your body and your body’s limitations. This is not the time to try new things, but to maintain your fitness. You know your body better than anyone else!

Andre Fox-Martins
Fitness Manager
Fitness First Platinum Plus l Town Center l Dubai

Fitness & Training

How and when to exercise in Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 15, 2017 0 comments

Exercising should be continued during the holy month of Ramadan, as it is one of the healthy habits that are recommended to be followed for its many benefits that positively affect the human health.

However, the right time and kind of exercise should be chosen.

 

Why should you work out in Ramadan ?

If exercising is important to the body’s well being and health throughout the year, it is even more important in Ramadan than in any other month, due to many reasons including:

1. It helps people who follow an exercise program to easily resume it after Ramadan and does not give a chance to idleness to seep into their bodies.

2. During fast time, the muscular system gets energy by using the glucose in liver. If the physical exertion and required energy increase; and the amount of glucose in liver is inadequate to provide muscles with energy, the muscular system will use another source, which is the adipose tissue dissolution and fatty acid oxidation. If the fatty acids decrease, the muscular system will oxidize the fats in liver. Thus, fast and exercising are a good chance to burn the stored fats.

3. It improves the digestive system efficiency and protects from indigestion problems.

4. The weight lost during fast will definitely be gained after Iftar, especially if the fasting person overeats throughout Ramadan without exercising.

5. If the body suffers from deprivation and lacks energy resources, weight will be lost, but from the non-fatty tissues, which adversely affects health. However, in Ramadan, exercising and deprivation of food lead to weight loss from the adipose tissues, affecting health positively.

6. Not eating or drinking for long hours up to 15 hours, as well as staying up for long hours at night, cause body fatigue and stress. Therefore, exercising is a key factor in fasting to increase the body’s efficiency, fitness and health; add vitality to it; protect it from diseases; and eliminate idleness and laziness.

What time of the day should I exercise?

Preferable Times for Exercising in Ramadan and the benefits of each:

1. Two or three hours before Iftar to compensate the body for the missing fluids and minerals as soon as possible to avoid the health symptoms that may be caused for it as a result of exercising

2. Approximately two and half to three hours after Iftar, as during this period, food is efficiently digested to recover energy and recharge it to the vital organs of the body

The period of time allocated to an exercising class during fast does not exceed 60 minutes for a maximum of 5 days a week.

The physical activities that are preferred to be practiced in Ramadan are of low or medium intensity kind and do not require considerable exertion and high resistance that may exhaust the body.

Fitness First Team

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.

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.

ff-fitness-2

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.

Conclusion

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-mindbody-yoga-beach
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.

nutrition-water-male

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.

nutrition-soup-portions

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.

Conclusion

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

workout-ramadan
Fitness & Training

How to Make your Workout more Effective in Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 30, 2016 0 comments

Ramadan is coming soon, and time of fasting is approaching. It is a totally different state for our mine and body. The best thing we can do is to adapt to new conditions which our body will go through. For some that means it is time to have a break from the gym. Not at all.

New conditions require new training methods as well. I will give you some advice on how to make your workout during Ramadan more effective.

First, what time is the best for workout?

Most of the food and water intake will happen during the night, and working out during the day can be hard, but we can use the new environment and take the most of it for productive workout.

My suggestion is to follow the work of hormone of stress (cortisol). Cortisol is a hormone who keeps us awake and who is speeding our fat burning process. Cortisol is having his strongest peak from 5am till 11am. And that is the perfect time to have your workout. If you are not morning person last peak of cortisol is at 5pm, and that should be ideal time to work out, just before breaking the fast.

Second, what is the best type of workout?

You should use more static and isolation moves, such as machines, weights and body-weight exercises instead of cardio exercises. The body will retain water, so I rather chose exercise that doesn’t require that much of a sweating, but at the same time to be productive. This type of exercise using proteins and carbohydrates (ATP, creatinine phosphates, glucose) the primary energy source, but while you are resting, your body is using fat as primary fuel.

With this type of workout your body will get energy from all resources and it will carry you out through rest of the day. You will feel more energetic and effects on your body and mind will be visible. That is one more reason to continue your training during fasting.

Outdoor Group Training main image

Hope these tips will change your perspective of working out during Ramadan time and will help you out to reach your goals.

Training never stops 🙂

Best of Luck,

Ivan Dimitric
Assistant fitness manager
Al Fardan Sharjah, Fitness First ME