Fitness routines for Ramadan 2024: Best workouts to stay active while fasting | Health

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, devout Muslims around the world prepare to observe daily fasts from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is all about fasting, spiritual growth, prayers and reflection. It’s a time for Muslims to deepen their bond with their community, draw closer to God, seek forgiveness, and cultivate empathy for those in need. By abstaining from food and drink from dawn to dusk, self-discipline is cultivated and a stronger connection with God is felt. (Also read | Mindful fasting: Tips to maintain mental and emotional well-being throughout Ramadan fasting)

Staying fit while fasting requires careful planning and consideration of your body's needs during the fasting period. (Freepik)
Staying fit while fasting requires careful planning and consideration of your body’s needs during the fasting period. (Freepik)

During Ramadan, mindfulness is encouraged to deepen spiritual connection, but integrating exercise into daily routines can enhance this practice. Exercise not only fosters mindfulness but also boosts energy levels, enabling individuals to remain attentive to their spiritual and physical well-being. Additionally, regular physical activity during Ramadan supports overall health, complementing the fasting period with vitality and strength.

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“Staying fit while fasting requires careful planning and consideration of your body’s needs during the fasting period. During Ramadan, it’s essential to maintain physical activity while being mindful of the fasting schedule and energy levels,” says Shazia Shadab, Lead Physiotherapist at Cloudnine group of hospitals, Bangalore, Jayanagar.


Here are some fitness and exercise routines suitable for Ramadan 2024 suggested by Shazia:

1. Low-intensity cardio: Engage in low-intensity cardio exercises such as walking, cycling, or swimming during the non-fasting hours. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.

2. Bodyweight workouts: Perform bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks at home or in a quiet space. These exercises help maintain muscle tone and strength without the need for equipment.

3. Yoga and stretching: Practice gentle yoga or stretching routines to improve flexibility, mobility, and relaxation. Focus on deep breathing and mindfulness to enhance the mind-body connection.

4. Short, high-intensity workouts: Consider incorporating short, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts during the non-fasting hours. HIIT sessions typically last 20-30 minutes and involve alternating between intense bursts of activity and brief rest periods.

5. Pre-dawn workouts: If possible, engage in light exercise or stretching routines before the pre-dawn meal (suhoor) to boost energy levels and metabolism for the day ahead.

6. After sunset workouts: Schedule more intense workouts, such as strength training or cardio sessions, after breaking the fast (iftar) and before the evening meal (taraweeh). Aim to hydrate well before and after exercise to replenish fluids lost during fasting.

7. Listen to your body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. If you feel fatigued or lightheaded, opt for gentler forms of exercise or consider taking a rest day.

8. Stay hydrated: Hydration is crucial during Ramadan, especially when exercising. Drink plenty of water during the non-fasting hours and consider consuming hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables.

9. Be mindful of timing: Plan your workouts around the fasting schedule, taking into account meal and prayer times. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day to prevent dehydration and overheating.

10. Consult a doctor: If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns about exercising during Ramadan, consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert for personalised advice and guidance.