HOW TO: Ramadan Workout



There's never time to workout during ramadan.

We ask dr. Alia Basalamah, National Fitness Training Manager for Fitness First Indonesia, about how to exercise the right way during Ramadan to keep our body fit. To be even more practical, Abdoullah Mitiche and Fajar Arifan from Fitness First's Performance Team also give us advice on how to do that - the non-athlete way.

There is a popular myth goes around that during Ramadan, our activity level should be reduced to the lowest possible way. However, we often end up feeling lethargic, decreasing fitness level, to having unbalanced body weight. According to dr. Alia, working out during Ramadan is a good way to prevent such effects. It will be different from the way we work out on any other day, that's for sure. So, how do we get it right without dehydrating our body too much on fasting days?

During ramadhan, sleep-wake cycle is the likeliest bodily system that gets disturbed. Normally, people who live in urban gets around 6-8 hours of sleep each day. However, during Ramadan, we often get lesser sleep to adjust with Ramadan-related religious rituals and sahur time. Before working out, we need to make sure that at least had enough sleep at night. It does not have to be 6-8 hours nonstop; a 5-hour before sahur and 1 or 2-hour after sahur would be perfect. This is essential since our body tend to be vulnerable when we do not get enough sleep - imagine how it will do during Ramadan. Before balancing our sleeping hours, it will be risky to push our body to work out.


That's what our Mother said: don't eat too much in breakfasting time. The more you eat, the less your body can anticipate higher physical activity. Eat a just-enough amount complex sugar and drink a lot of water while breakfasting and you will be ready to work out 30-60 minutes afterwards. If you happen to be the type of person who have to eat full-dinner while breakfasting, then you need to postpone your workout time to 1.5-2 hours later. Another essential thing is to never skip sahur.


The most possible time to work out on fasting days is 60 minutes before breakfasting and 30-60 hours after it. Abdoullah Mitiche and Fajar Arifan suggested a low-intensity exercise before breakfasting and slightly higher-intensity after it. Accept the fact that our body cannot endure exercise the way it normally does. Reduce the intensity, lengthen the interval between exercises. 1-2 workouts a week is already enough. After all, the main objectives of working out during Ramadan is to maintain level of fitness, not to enhance it.


dr. Alia emphasizes the importance of listening to your body. We all have different level of fitness, durability, physical tolerance, and many others. Each of us also have different preferences to work out. It is really important to exercise the way we enjoy, with our specified physical quality. It does not have to be at the gym, or doing outdoor sports - we all can do at home or workplace. Yet, sometimes, we do not know how to exercise efficiently - or do we do the right way. In that case, the Fitness First currently launch a personalized-based mobile application called CustomFit to help us manage time and movement for our Ramadan workout.


PHOTO: Max Pixel