During Ramadan, evenings are filled with families and friends, and the breaking of the days’ fast with Iftar. The consumption of deep-fried and oily food after, or even before your fast, can cause long-term and serious weight gain for most people. If you happen to be someone who has a soft spot for rich, oily foods, here’s how you can combat unwanted weight gain through short but effective exercises – with HIIT! Given that your body is mostly in a fasted state during the Ramadan period, it’s important to understand how to do these types of workouts to keep you safe, and to keep you lean.
1. Why HIIT?
HIIT is one of the fastest ways you can get in both cardio and a strength workout. Thirst may be one of the key issues when you train while fasting, and a tip would be to focus on training intensity to cut down your workout time. Focus on pure strength gains and don’t be afraid to reduce the number of overall sets! We also suggest opting for compound body-weight movements like squats and push-ups!
2. When you should do it?
There is no perfect time to exercise during Ramadan; it’s all about what works for you. However, we recommend the best time for HIIT workouts is 1–2 hours before Iftar! This way, you will be able to eat right after your work out to aid recovery and replenish the energy that was lost. You can also maximize your feeding window since you don’t spend it training.
3. Benefits of HIIT
While it’s tempting to just stick to simple cardio workouts during Ramadan, those looking to lose or at least maintain weight will definitely benefit from doing HIIT.
With HIIT, you won’t just be burning calories during your workout, but for up to 24 hours following it as well—known as EPOC (excess postexercise oxygen consumption), this is when the body uses more energy in order to restore itself to pre-workout levels, effectively torching more fat. HIIT workouts have been found to burn an extra 6 to 15% more calories as compared to other workouts because of this process.
4. Duration/Number of Sessions
During Ramadan, it’s crucial to take care of our bodies and not over-exert them. Most sources recommend that you only do HIIT workouts 2 to 3 times a week, for about 30 to 60 minutes at a time. However, Basheer Jadallah, a certified personal trainer, claims it’s okay to work up to 4 times a week, for 45 minutes at a time. However, this is just a guideline—the most important thing is to listen to your body and modify your workout routine if necessary!