For those of you who have been reluctant to exercise during Ramadan, the news is that exercising and fasting can go well together without causing any harm to the body – that is if you’re careful enough to time your exercise correctly.


Truth is, this really depends on your personal preference. However, it is important to keep in mind that training at different times of the day carries different benefits and risks.

Before breaking the fast – Training in a fasted state towards the end of the day when your carbohydrate stores have been exhausted may help your body reap the benefits of exercising on an empty stomach which includes burning more fat for fuel – though researchers are still looking into whether that is true or not. Working out right before the Iftar meal also means you’d soon be able to replenish your body with food and water, which may give you the psychological boost to perform during your training.

However, given that the body would be in a dehydrated state, exercising during this time of the day may leave you fatigued and dizzy and result in muscle cramps. Therefore any workout done at this time should be low-key with more resistance training, low repetitions and weights, and lots of stretching. This is also a good time for a short brisk walk or light jog.

Those who are diabetic are however advised not to exercise at all before breaking the fast because of the risk of hypoglycemia. 

After breaking the fast – Ideally, this is the best time to exercise. You can hydrate while you exercise and eat again to refuel once you are done. This method will also get you energized for the day ahead. The best time to work out may be between 11pm and 2am, after your food has had a little time to settle and your body has fully rehydrated.

However, if you have trouble sleeping, evening training may not be the best option for you, as after you train, your energy levels are boosted dramatically – your mood improves, endorphins are running and your brain is all fired up.


Regardless of the time you pick, you want to keep your exercise to a safe light to moderate intensity as engaging in unaccustomed high intensity and high volume of exercise while fasting may suppress or even lower your immunity levels.

Go for resistance training – when fasting your body will turn to the stored carbs for energy but it may also turn to protein stores which can lead to loss of muscle mass. Resistance training helps to preserve muscle mass, so opt for bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges and push-ups or add in weights for deadlifts, shoulder press, chest press and rows.

Keep Cardio on low intensity- Keep cardio low intensity during fasting as high intensity will eat up glycogen stores and force the body to use protein for energy.

Focus on Maintenance and recovery – Ramadan is not the time to try to gain muscle – fasting makes this near impossible. So think about maintaining fitness instead with regular and effective resistance training or use a week or so to think about recovery.

While it is absolutely okay to continue with your existing exercising routine while fasting Ramadan, it is probably not the best idea to start with a new regimen as the body is already adjusting to the changes that occur with fasting.