Ramadan is known to be a month full of kindness and gratitude, as well as to detox and reflect. From my experience with Muslim clients, many continue to work out throughout the Holy Month, even while they are fasting. However, everyone reacts to fasting differently, particularly the first few days or workouts. That is why it is important to take it easy, see how you feel, and not be too hard on yourself. If working out while you are fasting does not suit you, it is better not to force it and resume your workouts once you are back on your normal routine.
If you are working out while fasting it is important to listen to your body. It can be a shock to your system, so best to take things slow. I would not suggest trying a new type of exercise; it is better to do something that you are already familiar with. Then if you need to modify you would be comfortable with your options. If you did not exercise prior to Ramadan, I would not advise starting a new exercise program while you are fasting. A new workout regime would be a great goal for you to get into once you are back to a normal routine of eating and drinking throughout the day.
Barre is a low impact, safe and controlled workout that would be appropriate to continue even if you are fasting. There is no jumping, and the class is form oriented, so you are always in control of your body and the speed or the movements. The lights remain on throughout the workout, with the teacher trained to give constant feedback and corrections, so it is a well supervised environment. If you need to take a break, you can at your own time and resume once you are ready. There are no heavy weights or machines, so there is no risk of injury due to fatigue. And there is time at the end of class to stretch and relax, allowing you to reflect on what you have just accomplished and thank your body for working hard.
Whether or not you choose to exercise during Ramadan, it is a special month to be with friends and family and a great time to reflect on what is important. Having time each day to focus on yourself and your wellbeing is a privilege, so hopefully you can find this time either during Ramadan or after.
• Nora Hameidani is founder of Barre Effect in Dubai