Fasting and fitness: how to adapt a training schedule during Ramadan

With Ramadan currently underway, "Mr Fitness" David Katz takes a look at how to best manage sleep and food intake so as to maximise exercise while fasting.

Katz says fasting does not mean you have to shut down your exercise routine, instead it's a case of slowing down.

With the Comrades Marathon coming up in a few weeks, this is especially relevant to athletes who have already started their training.

The two eating windows will determine the time of day for training.

It becomes about managing how well you eat in that window and to supply yourself with energy for the day,

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

A lot of (people) are going to go on and they're going to run Comrades... they need to keep running, they can't just stop because they have this big race coming up.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

Some people recommend the morning, when energy reserves are high.

If you are going to do it, do light exercise - brisk walking, maybe light jogging but nothing heavy because you're going to need to get through the day.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

What about training in the evening, before breaking the fast?

Katz says this is a good idea.

If you can maybe get an hour in in the evenings, or 45 minutes... do it so that within an hour or so you're going to break your fast and all of a sudden the energy is burnt, the muscles you've used, you're able to replenish all of that by eating.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

Your body will recover, you know you've got another meal in the morning, you plan that meal well and then it willn get you through to the next day.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

One of the most important things for people who want to keep fit and healthy is sleep.

Sleep patterns are affected during Ramadan, with early waking to eat before sun comes up

You need to try and balance the sleep with your exercise with what you eat and how you're eating it during that stage.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

Katz warns against eating processed foods, because what the body needs is sustenance.

You don't want to over-eat, at the same time you need to understand that you need to get this in a certain time, your dinner and your early breakfast.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

Katz says intermittent fasting also presents an opportunity for the body to adapt and become reliant on fat stores as opposed to an instant supply of carbohydrates and sugars for energy.

Sticking to intermittent fasting throughout the year would allow an easier time during Ramadan the next year with regard to training.

For more advice from Katz, listen below:


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