Nelita Villezon is a trainer at the brand-new Orangetheory Fitness Dubai, which is the first UAE location for the fastest-growing gym in the world. Through a combination of calorie-blasting, all-in-one HIIT workouts incorporating treadmills and rowers, the gym promises that its clients can work out for one hour but burn calories for the next 36. Villezon is here to remind you that during Ramadan, even a little workout is better than nothing. Here’s when and how she suggests you do it.
Very late at night
Ramadan is not only a time for reflection, but also socializing, when family and friends tend to stay up late until suhoor. Some people prefer to work out during the 12am-3am window. If you’re not very fussed about sleeping patterns, then this would be the most effective time to fit in some exercise. You will be able to replenish your protein and nutrient levels as you’d be able to drink fluids and eat after the work out.
This is a good time to hit low-intensity workouts as opposed to HIIT or weight training, as you won’t have as much energy and stamina as you normally would. Just remember to stay hydrated after the breaking of the day’s fast.
I recommend working out after iftar once you’ve rehydrated and had a nutrient-dense meal. The key to this would be to not overindulge once you’ve broken your fast. Perhaps work out an hour or two after you break your fast, giving yourself enough time to digest your meal and to recover before suhoor. My recommendation for duration is 30 minutes to no more than 60 minutes of moderate workout for both cardio and weight training. Remember that a little something is better than nothing and to keep hydrated.
Before and after iftar
If you’re keen to keep up your fitness regime during Ramadan, you would be well advised to do something light right before Iftar, something more cardio-centric, and then a more intense workout after breaking your fast. A 30-minute workout before and after iftar is a good way to ensure you stock up your food and water intake after every workout. Just remember to wait an hour or two after breaking your fast, and to eat in moderation.
Orangetheory Fitness Dubai is located at the Times Square Centre. It opens to the public from June 16. For more information, go to otfdubai.com or call 052 658 2020.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.