(Q&A) Exercising safely during Ramadan

Q&A Session In collaboration with Sengkang General Hospital – Physiotherapist, Muhamad Hariz Bin Muhamad Razali.

Question 1: it is not safe to exercise when fasting. What are the benefits of exercising and staying active during Ramadan?
It is safe to maintain normal levels of physical activity when fasting. Staying active during Ramadan will help with weight maintenance. If you have diabetes and are overweight or obese, Ramadan provides a good opportunity to lose weight – weight loss may result in improved blood sugar control.

Question 2: What types of exercises/activities are suitable for Ramadan and do not put too much strain on your body?
Examples of light to moderate intensity exercises or activities that are suitable during Ramadan include brisk walking, yoga, Pilates, and even household chores such as gardening and mopping the floor.

Question 3: How does a sedentary lifestyle/inactivity contribute to diabetes?
When you are not physically active, you are at risk of becoming overweight or obese. Obesity affects blood sugar control because it is related to greater “insulin resistance”. This results in the body’s cells being unable to efficiently use sugar from the blood for energy.

Question 4: What are 5 things to remember when choosing a workout during Ramadan?

When choosing a workout during Ramadan, remember to consider the following:

  • The type of exercise. The risk of dehydration is higher with cardio (aerobic) exercises.
  • The intensity level of your workout. Light to moderate intensity exercises is safest.
  • Whether it is an indoor or outdoor activity. Avoid exercising outdoors at the hottest times of the day as you will be unable to hydrate yourself adequately.
  • The time of day. You may want to limit physical activity during fasting hours and be more active after sunset as the risk of low blood sugar is higher in the hours before iftar.
  • Check your blood glucose before the workout. Ensure that it is at least 5.5 mmol/L.

Question 5: The participation in sports/gym/martial art classes before Iftar is on the rise among the young. Is this advisable?  What should they look out for?

Especially for those who are with pre-diabetes/diabetes

It is possible to participate in sports/gym/martial art classes before Iftar as long as you keep to a light-to-moderate intensity level. People who have diabetes should also check their blood glucose and ensure that it is at least 5.5 mmol/L before engaging in such activities.

Question 6: Should cardio addicts avoid super-intense cardio workouts?
Rigorous exercise is not recommended for diabetics during Ramadan due to the increased risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and/or dehydration.

Question 7: Are there differences between training after breaking my fast or before iftar?
If you have diabetes, the risk of hypoglycaemia and dehydration is greater if you exercise before iftar. Avoid excessive physical activity particularly during the few hours before breaking fast.

Question 8: Housewives are often reluctant to join classes/exercise close to iftar time as they are usually spending time preparing meals. What kinds of activities/exercises would be suitable?
They can exercise in the earlier part of the day, for example, after sahur. They can also keep active with daily activities such as walking to the market, carrying grocery bags instead of using trolleys, or even standing while they are preparing meals. Do remember that the physical exertions involved in Tarawih prayers, such as bowing, kneeling and rising, can also be considered part of their daily exercise activities.

All in all, it is a must-have for everyone who wants to exercise and stay healthy to always be aware and assess oneself if they are fit for the activity at that particular moment before engaging in a vigorous exercise. “SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY” PARQ Form

Here wishing everyone Good Health and a Selamat Hari Raya 2019

Cheers! (:

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