Should I Be Exercising During Ramadan In The UAE

Should I Be Exercising During Ramadan In The UAE
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Keeping On Track With Your Personal Training During Ramadan – Part 2

The most important point I can make is that Ramadan doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising.

The reasons as to why you exercise, whether you’re wanting to lose weight, slim your waist, tone your arms, drop body fat, run a marathon etc etc are all still there. Ramadan doesn’t change those reasons for wanting to improve your body.

And taking a full month off training is going to leave you even further away from were you want to be, Making your return to exercise even more difficult and daunting.

The trick is you need to change your goal

Exercising typically involves striving for improvements.  Improvements in the way we look and feel or the way we move and perform. And as a lot of you will already know, these improvements are difficult to come by – even in a well rested, well fed and hydrated state.

And because Ramadan directly effects all 3 of the above, it isn’t realistic to expect to be making ‘gains’ during this period of the year. Despite what you may think, this is ok.

  • Implementing a maintenance goal is the key to exercise success during Ramadan.
  • Reduce the expectations you put on yourself.

For many of you, the thought of attempting to complete your current exercise regime is enough to put you off from even starting it.

  • Instead reduce the amount of time you spend in the gym
  • Spend more time stretching & mobilizing
  • Take longer to warm your body up
  • Then reduce the amount of sets you are doing, or the amount of time you spend on the X-Trainer
  • And finish by doing more core work

 

Your body is going to become more and more depleted of Glycogen (energy) and water the further we go into Ramadan – so by reducing the amount we do is a sensible option as physically your body is going to find it much harder to complete even basic things.

If you’re already working with a Personal Trainer in Abu Dhabi they should already be acutely aware of reducing the demands they put on you during Ramadan, to reduce fatigue and prevent injury.

Remember the goal isn’t to improve; it is to not lose the improvements you have already made. Speak to your Personal Trainer in the UAE for more support or advise, aware of reducing the demands they put on you during Ramadan, to reduce fatigue and prevent injury.

Golf & Sports Fitness Personal Trainer in Abu Dhabi - Chris

Article Submitted By: Chris Wraithmell – Abu Dhabi Boxing & Personal Fitness PT

Article Category: General Health & Fitness

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May 26, 2017 / by / in
Diet During Ramadan – UAE Personal Trainers
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Diet During Ramadan – Important Nutrtional Advice

Ramadan is the holy month of the year when Muslims fast for a month during the daylight hours from dawn to dusk. This is the time when one can face serious dehydration due to no water consumption during peak sunny hours of the day and muscle loss due to lack of food intake.

Shihab – A personal trainer in Dubai & Sharjah provides us with some important tips for dieting during the holy month.

Important Nutritional Advice For Ramadan

During this blessed month of Ramadan there will be long days of fasting and it is important to maintain optimal nutrition while observing this important pillar of Islam.

Many scientific studies have indicated that Ramadan-type fasting slows down metabolism in the body. This means that our diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight neither losing nor gaining weight. However, those who are overweight can benefit by losing some weight by means of fasting. This should be done by eating healthy foods and appropriate serving sizes.

All individuals who fast should maintain a healthy diet which includes a variety of foods rich in nutrients or else it can lead to health problems since the fasting continues for a month. Keeping this in mind… The deciding factor is not the fast itself, but rather what is consumed in the non-fasting hours.

People to avoid eating fried, oily, junk, extra sugar and artificial sweeteners, excess tea, coffee and heavy food items as they cannot be easily digested and can make your stomach bloated later.

If you have a sweet craving, me advises to satisfy it by including pineapple in your meal as it will help digest the food better.

 

Suhoor meal:

Slow-digesting foods are the best choice for nourishing the body throughout the day.

Choose foods such as: barley, wheat, oats, beans, lentils, brown rice and nuts. These foods contain fiber which will help prevent constipation and stomach upset during fasting. Try to combine some of these grains with a small amount of protein.

Some examples are:

  1. 1 cup serving of a mixture of lentils, brown rice and ground meat.

1 cup serving of meat and grain mixture (haleem, keema in whole wheat bread, or hareesa)

  1. 2 glasses of water

1 cup of oatmeal cooked in 2 cups fat free milk, topped with 1 sliced banana, and 1 chopped date (optional).

 

Avoid foods that are digested quickly such as: foods containing sugar, white flour or other refined carbohydrates. AVOID CONSUMING SWEETS during the suhoor meal. Also avoid fried foods which may cause stomach upset during the day. High sodium containing foods should also be avoided to prevent increased thirst during fasting. Eat 1 cup of fresh fruits and drink about ( 2-3 ) 8 oz cups of water or fluid during suhoor.

 

Iftar meal: 

Divide this meal into two small meals Although iftar will be late during the summer months it is still important to provide the body necessary nutrients.

Start by consuming 2-3 dates and 2 cups of non-fat milk or water. Dates are excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, potassium and magnesium.

Milk is a great source of protein and calcium.

Before eating more dense foods, try to have 1 cup of a light soup or broth and 1 serving of whole grain pita bread. For the rest of the iftar meal choose foods such as whole grains, steamed or roasted vegetables and fresh fruits. Try to avoid spicy foods. These foods stimulate gastric secretion which may cause an uncomfortable feeling after fasting.

Some examples are:

A:

3 dates with 2 glasses of water

1 grilled chicken breast fillet

3 cups of your favorite salad

A handful of nuts

A cup of mint tea.

 

B.

3 dates with dipped in yogurt , 2 glasses of water

1 cup baked shredded chicken/fish/meat/cottage cheese with chickpeas on top of lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Add your favourite hot sauce.

1 cup of herbal tea

1 cup brown rice

Food Chart - Ramadan Dieting

 

NOTE:  Avoid heavy meals for Iftar to prevent extra load on the digestive system. If planning a dinner, it should be consumed at least 2 hours after Iftar and should be very light…

 

Honey is sunnah: It is narrated in Sahih Bukhari that the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Honey is a remedy for every illness, and the Qur’an is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Qur’an and honey.”

Dates and Almonds: Dates are an excellent source of fiber, sugar, potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates. Almonds are low in fat and a good source of protein and fibre.

Preferred Fruits: Bananas are a good source of carbohydrates, magnesium and potassium. Other fruits, such as Pears, Peach, Oranges, Plums and Apples are a good source of natural sugar.

For individuals with Diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes:

These individuals should consult with their physician before fasting. If diabetes is poorly controlled, they are at high risk for developing severe complications. Proper monitoring of blood glucose levels multiple times a day is very important. Insulin regimens may need to be adjusted to avoid complications.

Type 2 diabetes:

Individuals on diet controlled regimens may fast, however dietary principles must be reinforced. Large amounts of fried foods and carbohydrate-rich foods are abundant and these foods could have a severe effect on diabetes control. The suhoor meal should be the major meal of the day and consist of whole grains and protein rich foods. Individuals on diabetes medication need to be advised on how to change their daily doses.

For type 1 and 2 insulin-treated individuals, the safety of fasting during Ramadan must be assessed since many require frequent snacks to avoid hypoglycaemia. Home glucose monitoring and testing for ketones is essential to prevent hypoglycaemia and other complications.

 

HOW FASTING BOOSTS YOUR HEATH AND FITNESS

“A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.” [Ibn Majah]

Portion control was suggested more than 1400 years ago by our beloved Prophet, long before the weight loss craze began. If we truly follow this golden advice from our Prophet  we will not be eating mindlessly and filling our stomach until it is full, which will inevitably lead to weight gain, laziness and lethargy.

Based On facts:

intestines diet image

 

As the Ramadan fast only extends from dawn till dusk, there is ample opportunity to replenish energy stores at pre-dawn and dusk meals. This provides a progressive gentle transition using glucose to fat as the main source of energy and prevents the breakdown of muscle for protein. The use of fat for energy aids weight loss, preserving the muscle, and in the long run reduces your cholesterol levels. In addition weight loss results in better control of diabetes and reduce blood pressure.

A detoxification process also seems to occur, as any toxin’s stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body. After a few days of fast, higher level of certain hormones appear in the blood (endorphins), resulting in a better level of alertness and an overall feeling of general mental well-being.

 FASTING IS NOT A STARVATION

 Some people are under the impression that fasting starves the body and hence you go into “starvation mode”. That is not true. Fasting is not starvation. It is simply not eating or drinking for a period of time, not continuously for days on end without basic nutrients.

FASTING IS A NATURAL DETOX PROCESS

Have you noticed that during Ramadan our bodies feel more rested? It is because fasting gives your digestive system a rest and this can energize your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. If your digestion is poor, this can affect your ability to metabolize food and burn fat.

INTERMITTENT FASTING AIDS WEIGHT LOSS

Fasting can be a safe way to lose weight as many studies have shown that intermittent fasting – fasting that is controlled within a set number of hours – allows the body to burn fat cells more effectively than just regular dieting.

I hope that this Ramadan of yours will not be another food festival but one that you will use to get your fitness and weight back on track, in sha Allah!

Summary

Traditional Ramadan meals tend to be heavy on calories and carbs, which is a bad combination if you want avoid over-consumption.
Keep protein a part of every meal to help avoid this.

Don’t let Ramadan be a time of year, where you ‘blow’ all the hard work you have put in for the previous 11 months. There is no reason why you can’t keep improving your health during the month of Ramadan.

The above tips will help you do that.

Dubai & Sharjah Personal Trainer Shihab C Alavi

Article Submitted By: Shihab – Master Personal Trainer In Dubai & Abu Dhabi

Article Category: Diet & Weight Management

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May 24, 2017 / by / in
Exercise During Ramadan – Staying On Track In The UAE
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Keeping On Track With Your Personal Training During Ramadan

The month of May for many of our Personal Training Clients, is about to bring about one of the most significant periods of their year – Ramadan.
Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims around the world fast (abstaining from food, drink and other physical needs such as smoking) every day from sunrise to sunset of each day of that month.
Now although this poses some obvious obstacles for clients, many stress themselves out over their ability to ‘keep on track’ with their current exercise and nutrition regimes.
This needn’t be the case. The main things that are required are an element of flexibility and a bit of work re-structuring how things are done during the holy month.

When Is The Best Time To Train?

This is all dependent on your working schedule/current training regime and preference. But there are 3 ‘optimal’ options.

1. Train Shortly after Suhoor (Sunrise)
2. Train Shortly after Iftar (Breaking your fast with a small snack first)
3. Train as early in the day as possible after Suhoor.

The third option is heavily dependant on your work schedule flexibility.

Reduce Your Training Volume:

The most important thing you can do with your training is to reduce your overall volume.  The lack of food and water will directly affect your ability to perform at your best, so the simplest way is to set your self a smaller target during the session.

2 sets instead of 4, 5 mins instead of 15, 8 reps instead of 15 etc etc

Wrap things up in 45 – 60 mins as an absolute maximum.

How To Structure Your Diet During Ramadan

1.Fluid Intake.
Water is the first and major concern during the month. And the issue you want to avoid is trying to ‘stock up’ on it.
Water is a diuretic, so the more you consume, the more you lose – this means that by over-consuming it when you can, you dehydrate yourself further by making more bathroom trips.
Keep intake of water at a normal rate for you, when you do consume it – and simply add a touch more salt to your food, to avoid excessive toilet trips. (Good Quality Rock Salt)

2. Slow Release Proteins
During both Suhoor and Iftar, it is advisable to include more Protein in your meals. Slow Releasing Proteins are better, but to be honest any will help. Protein is the food source which will keep you fuller for longer, help maintain the balance with your blood sugars, preventing the inevitable dip in energy levels you will feel. Beef, Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Dairy are your best sources.

 

Healthy eating and nutrition tips from uae personal trainers

3. Avoid Excessive Carbs
The traditional Ramadan meals are heavily Carb dominant, simply mix these with the Protein and Fat sources above to slow down digestion and avoid excessive rises in blood sugar.

4. Maintain Your Sleep
Sleep is your secret dietary supplement – a lack of it will lead you feeling tired, grumpy, hungry and unable to exercise. Avoid excessive water before bed, as this will lead to getting up more at night to make trips to the toilet. Nap during the day if you have the flexibility and feel the need.

5. Keep An Eye On Your Calories.
Fasting is a great way to reduce the overall amount you eat (I use Intermittent Fasting regularly), however don’t be under the illusion that just because you are fasting all day you can’ get away’ with eating whatever you like when you’re not.

Summary

Traditional Ramadan meals tend to be heavy on calories and carbs, which is a bad combination if you want avoid over-consumption.
Keep protein a part of every meal to help avoid this.

Don’t let Ramadan be a time of year, where you ‘blow’ all the hard work you have put in for the previous 11 months. There is no reason why you can’t keep improving your health during the month of Ramadan.

The above tips will help you do that.

Golf Fitness Personal Trainer Abu Dhabi - Chris

Article Submitted By: Chris Wraithmell – Abu Dhabi Boxing & Personal Fitness PT

Article Category: General Health & Fitness

Useful Articles, Tips & How To’s – UAE Personal Trainers – For All Your Personal & Group Fitness Needs

The UAE Personal Trainers website aims to provide you with the latest and best information on all aspects of health and fitness through a wide range of articles, Question & Answer Sessions and useful tips.

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May 18, 2017 / by / in ,
5 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight – UAE Personal Trainer Tips
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Weight Loss – Why Am I Having Trouble Losing Weight?

Weight loss is surely not that complex?? Calories ‘in’ need to be less than calories ‘out’ so simply eating less and moving more will cut it, right?

Clearly not, otherwise everybody would find it easy to lose weight and I would have to go back to my old job…..

There’s nothing wrong with the calories in/out equation, it’s just that there tends to be deeper-rooted issues! The following is not an exhaustive list, but it should go some way to helping.

1. Your diet in the UAE is just that, a diet

Diets are mostly short-term plans.

There’s nothing wrong with that, they work for a lot of people, but if there is no long term strategy and adjustment to behavior then any weight lost is quickly regained, and in many cases where excess hypo calorific diets are pursued, the weight is often gained much more afterwards because of metabolic adaptation (increased hunger response, lower insulin sensitivity, anticipation of food during severe restriction leading to gorging on foods when they return).

If you are going to diet in the UAE, just make sure you use a plan that’s healthy for you and that you can actually stick to. Some prefer low carb plans, others low fat and some people like variations such as Paleo or points plans etc.

It doesn’t matter because the short-term goal is only a small part of the equation. What’s most important is how you do this long-term.

Are you willing to always eat more veg and less of the higher calorific foods?

Are you willing to only have a few indulgences a week?

These and other questions are important to determining how you’ll fare with this.

In my experience as a personal trainer, it’s best to have a set of rules that you stick to which allow you to eat well within a set structure that you can keep to. For one very successful personal training client I know in Abu Dhabi, this means being able to enjoy at least one small unhealthy treat a day if she wants to, for others it can be more of a Sunday to Friday, controlled, disciplined eating thing with a big Saturday feast day. The actual nitty gritty of the plan will depend on your personality and what suits you.

2. Your environment is just not supportive enough

Do you have a healthy partner who enjoys eating good food with you? Or do you feel judged and criticized by your loved ones? Do you have people who will hold you accountable and not let you come up with excuses whilst genuinely supporting you in a non-critical way? Your day-to-day life will impact on your weight, including where you live (for example, statistically, lower-income families will be more likely to be overweight than higher-income families) and what your day-to-day activities involve (Are you active? Do you have to sit for long periods of time? Are you incredibly busy and unable to find time for yourself and your wellbeing?).

These kinds of thing all need taking into consideration. They go well beyond what you eat and will most likely have a bigger impact if the odds are weighed against you.

3. You exercise wrong (for weight loss)

Let me state first of all that any activity is good, regardless. So when I say that people don’t exercise correctly for weight loss, I’m referring to a lack of balance in a program (for example nothing but cardio exercises, which work well for a while but then neglect the important role lean tissue can play in weight loss and lead to stagnation).

Other issues I see are people either just not working hard enough (slow steady sessions on a bike in the “fat loss zone” whilst reading magazines) or sometimes working too hard (not allowing enough recovery, wearing yourself out early on in a session so your total output is lower than a better-paced workout). If you are confused or need help then a weight loss personal trainer in Abu Dhabi can do wonders when it comes to eating and workout plans.

Crossfit Personal Trainers & classes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sharjah

4. You’re not being completely honest with yourself (and others)

So you fill out a food diary to keep track of what you’re eating and give yourself some accountability, great idea, but you’re forgetting the snack you had in the kitchen when you went in for something else, it was just a biscuit left on the side, no big deal, nor was the biscuit you ate with the coffee in the café earlier. Then, of course, we have the issue of portions. Your tuna pasta salad is indeed a healthier choice compared to, say, a sausage roll, but now you’ve had a bigger helping you end up consuming more calories than that pastry-laden roll of delight.

5. You give in before the magic happens

So your weight has started to creep back on. Or worse yet, you’re stalling, it’s been weeks now and the scales are constant. The temptation is to either just go crazy and eat nothing for a day or go completely of the rails and find the nearest bag of cookies. Weight loss is rarely linear: some weeks people lose 2lbs, the next week they lose nothing, others are consistently losing x amount each month, but not everybody is like that. To see a good result, you have to stay the course. Most people want weight loss for life, which means just that: lifelong dedication to your wellbeing.

If you’re eating well and exercising and the scales aren’t moving, that’s not a bad thing. There are plenty of good points going on inside you which you can’t see: your body is increasing the energy batteries of mitochondria in each cell, it’s lowering your blood lipids, improving your insulin sensitivity, improving brain cells and a million other things which, beyond blood work, you have no hope of being able to track and monitor.  When things aren’t going as well as you would like, take stock, analyze things and review your next step. Failing all of the above, you could just have a genuine hormonal issue that you need to speak to your doctor about. That’s pretty rare, however, it does happen.

Golf & Sports Fitness Personal Trainer in Abu Dhabi - Chris

Article Submitted By: Chris Wraithmell – Abu Dhabi Boxing & Personal Fitness PT

Article Category: Diet, Weight Loss & Nutrition

Useful Articles, Tips & How To’s – UAE Personal Trainers – For All Your Personal & Group Fitness Needs

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May 15, 2017 / by / in ,