Exercise during fasting not harmful: Doctor

 08 Jun 2017 - 1:29

Exercise during fasting not harmful: Doctor
File picture of joggers on Corniche used for representation.

The Peninsula

Exercising and fasting can coincide without causing any harm to the body, say experts at the Primary Healthcare Corporation (PHCC). In fact, exercising during Ramadan, if done properly at a specific time, can help control one's weight and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

“There are three times in the day that are ideal for exercise during Ramadan,” confirmed Dr Khalid Shams, the Director of Al Shahaneya HC in PHCC.

"Exercising early morning after having refrained from eating and the stomach has digested food from Suhoor is very beneficial as one can breathe well during exercise and enjoy suitable weather locally,” said Dr Khalid.

He also added that some exercise such as walking can be done before breaking the fast for non-diabetic people, and after Iftar, especially after Taraweeh prayers for 30 to 45 minutes. Walking indoors is advisable to avoid the hot weather.

"Exercising an hour before breaking the fast at Iftar is recommended for people in good physical condition when the weather is suitable”, added Dr Khalid Shams.

The third suitable time to exercise is 4 to 5 hours after Iftar, when someone has fully digested his meal to avoid the risk of stomach discomfort by redirecting the blood used for digestion to other parts of the body such as the arms or the legs.

“Whereas the aforementioned times are suggested for regular people, the most suitable time for professional athletes is five hours after Iftar because their sport exerts much effort and is quite time-consuming”, added Dr Khalid.

He also stressed on the necessity of not exercising during fasting, because glucose, water and mineral salts levels decrease in our body which may cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue and lack of focus. The body compensates the glucose deficiency by using its storage 6 hours after consuming its last dose.

However, maintaining adequate water levels is a real problem as it decreases in the body during fasting, even more so during exercise.

Therefore, staying away from extreme heat and high humidity is highly recommended during exercise in Ramadan, in order not to lose critical amounts of water.