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Stay Fit During Fasting and Holidays

The fasting month and ending with Eid al-Fitr, if not addressed wisely often makes the body condition unstable. How to keep the body fit and fit during fasting and Eid?  

Health experts recommend that during fasting we do light sports activities. This is important to keep the body fit, and fasting can be carried out with sincerity and joy.

Exercising during fasting is also believed to help the body burn more fat which will lead to weight loss. The process of burning fat in the body is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. This nerve is activated by the body during exercise and lack of food supply. For this reason, the combination of fasting and exercise can maximize the process of burning fat in the body.

A study shows, fasting for 30 days in a row without doing the slightest exercise can reduce strength and fitness. In the study, experts examined people who were accustomed to practicing at least three days a week for 11 consecutive months, but during Ramadan they took a break from exercise. The result, the person has decreased heart and blood vessel function.

Stopping exercising for a month when fasting has the same effect as not exercising for four months. Therefore, experts still recommend doing sports during fasting. Of course the type, intensity, and weight of the sport during the fasting, needs to be adjusted to body conditions.

According to body fitness expert, Allidina, the best time to exercise in the month of Ramadan is just before sunset or before breaking the fast. Allidina also recommends exercising about one hour after breaking the fast, because food has been absorbed by the body and provides the energy needed.

Fitness instructor Zehra Allibhai revealed, exercise in the fasting month is more intended to keep the body in shape, not enough to achieve certain achievements. As long as it does not make the body tortured, physical exercise as usual, such as strength training or cardio exercises that do not encourage the body can still be done.

In addition to regulating exercise patterns, choosing the right foods, especially at dawn, is a must in the month of Ramadan. Because, food is closely related to the energy needed during fasting. Allidina suggests smoothies as a way to get a lot of nutrients in a short amount of time. He recommends smoothies with fruit, vegetables, chia seed, and peanut butter ingredients. In addition, proteins such as meat, eggs, beans, and lentils will provide enough energy for the body. 

So as not to lack body fluids, Allidina suggests drinking coconut water after exercise. Soup also becomes an ideal option at dawn or iftar because besides containing nutritious ingredients it also gives more fluids to the body.

To maintain body weight and metabolism, you should not immediately eat heavy food when breaking the fast. It is recommended, breaking the fast with a few dates and two glasses of water. Drinking water immediately can prevent the body’s urge to eat more. Another option is foods that contain lots of water such as watermelons or salads. Avoid fatty foods, and contain too high sugar.

Even though exercising during fasting is important, health expert Dr. Damar Upahita, not everyone can do it. People who suffer from chronic diseases, injuries, and certain complications do not need to exercise during fasting. Or, if you want to exercise do it with a very light intensity so as not to interfere with health.

Dr. Damar suggested, exercising during fasting is usually done 90 minutes before the breaking of the fast. This is intended so that energy reserves that are burned during exercise can be replaced as quickly as possible to prevent dizziness and nausea that might occur.

The types of sports that can be done during fasting are mild to moderate intensity sports. Avoid sports with heavy intensity because it can consume large amounts of energy and fast, for example walking leisurely, yoga, cycling or tai chi exercises. May be useful.  (***)

Source: Jurnal Halal 137

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