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CommunityFitnessFoodJoin the Strike.ae Ramadan fitness challenge

Why not build on the health opportunities that Ramadan provides, and use the Holy Month to build habits that will last the whole year through? Fasting in Ramadan is similar to a consistent practice of intermittent fasting, in which food is consumed within a smaller window of time. During the Holy Month, fasting is done between the Fair and Magrib prayer – roughly 12 hours between dawn and dusk. Fasting is considered to be a natural...
livehealthymag.com livehealthymag.comApril 11, 202114 min
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Strike.ae Ramadan challengeStrike.ae coach Siham Zaki
Why not build on the health opportunities that Ramadan provides, and use the Holy Month to build habits that will last the whole year through?
Fasting in Ramadan is similar to a consistent practice of intermittent fasting, in which food is consumed within a smaller window of time. During the Holy Month, fasting is done between the Fair and Magrib prayer – roughly 12 hours between dawn and dusk. Fasting is considered to be a natural detox, because it gives your digestive system a break, kicks metabolism upwards and helps you to burn calories more efficiently.
It can be a time for added weight loss, because the body uses its own fat rather than sugar as a primary source of energy. That’s why the Abu Dhabi outdoor gym has come up with a fitness challenge that they are sharing beyond their gym membership. “Ramadan is a great month for losing weight or to maintain your body by keeping the workouts to a moderate level without trying to achieve world records and by simply lowering the intensity with the goal of maintaining your shape, health and focus,” says Strike co-owner Mustafa Adnan. “If working out is part of your regular lifestyle, the ideal is to aim for three to four times a week, with an average of 40 minutes per workout.” 
The challenge is simple, and spelled out more clearly below: Follow the meal plan, do the workouts, build up to the burpee and plank challenge by adding time and reps every day.
Siham Zaki is the coach who came up with the plan, which includes a series of HIIT workouts, pledges to steer clear of fried, sugary and junk foods, and build up to 100 burpees and a five-minute plank. We asked her for details.

Why do the 30-day Ramadan fitness challenge?

To build habits! It is known that it can take a person up to 21 days to form a habit, and the month of Ramadan is the perfect time of the year to do it. Fasting in Ramadan is very similar to the known ‘intermittent fasting’ process, which simply means fasting for a controlled number of hours. During Ramadan, the fasting schedule does not change. Hence, it is considered to be a consistent intermittent fasting phase.

Who is the Ramadan fitness challenge for?  

The Ramadan fitness challenge is for everyone! The challenge is designed in a flexible way that can be adjusted based on personal preferences, allowing for food substitutes, lower impact exercise options and so on. As fasting is a key element in this challenge, it is important that it remains incorporated within it. The fasting schedule can be adjusted for participants who are not obligated to fast during the month of Ramadan*.

How can participants benefit the most?  

The Ramadan Fitness challenge is based on two major key elements: consistency and time-restricted eating. Participants can reap all the benefits of this challenge by being consistent in forming an actual habit and by being patient as they adapt  to the time-restricted eating*.

How is success measured in this challenge?  

In this challenge success is measured based on each participant’s goal. For example, if the goal is to be able to do 100 burpees after 30 days and they do it, then this is success achieved. If the goal is to be able to commit to time-restricted eating and after 30 days their body adapts to it, then this is success achieved. In other words, define your own measure of success.

When is the best time to do the workouts? 

Personally, and as the workouts proposed are only body-weight ones, it is best to do the workouts 30 to 45 minutes before Iftar. Such workouts are considered ‘fasted’ workouts in which your body uses its own fat reserves as a source of energy, which promotes weight-loss; and then you will be able to fuel your body with nutrients right afterwards at Iftar.*

Where is the challenge done?  

Even though you can do it anywhere you want, why do it alone when you can do it with a like-minded crowd  at strike.ae by the beautiful Corniche beach of Abu Dhabi? Ramadan does bring communities together, usually around the food table, but in our case let us make Ramadan bring us closer while we are working out.

What should people be careful about? 

If you have any health conditions, physical injuries or any allergies to any types of food, do consult your doctor to reap the best benefits out of this challenge while staying safe and healthy.

The details

The challenge:

• start with 10 burpees, finish with 100
• start with a 10 second plank, end with 5 minutes
• maintain 30 minutes of HIIT training daily for the first 20 days
• switch to alternating 30 minutes of HIIT training with a rest day for the remainder
• no junk food, no fried food, no added sugars

The food: 

• follow the provided meal plan
• exercise before or after iftar
• replace any food item with what best suits your preference, as long as it doesn’t violate the rules of the challenge
• aim to have Suhoor two hours before sleeping, for better digestion and sleep quality

The workouts

• try to do all your reps in the burpee and plank challenge in one go; but break them up in chunks if you must
• HIIT workouts are divided into three categories: lower body, upper body and core
• choose one from each category so that you are hitting all three each day

Ramadan challenge menu plan:

Ramadan challenge

Ramadan challenge HIIT workouts: 

Upper body (choose one per day):

Lower body (choose one per day):

Core (choose one per day):

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