Exercising While Fasting

Ramadan is a crucial part of the year for us as Muslims. It is the month in which we attempt to reach a spiritual peak in order to obtain ultimate success, as described by the Almighty in the Qur’an, “Whoever is moved away from the hellfire and is entered into heaven, indeed they are victorious...”. [3:185]

Many people may take this as a reason to give up everything else during this month. NEWSFLASH, the world does not and cannot stop during this month – even if we may want it to. Going about your daily business is made more difficult by the advent of fasting. If your usual activities are difficult, then how about maintaining some sort of exercise! For most, the idea is relegated to the periphery and most likely forgotten.

However, in our affluent societies and increasingly sedentary lifestyles, this suggestion to continue exercising is becoming evermore pivotal. If you don’t engage in some form of regular exercise, then I advise you to get onto that as soon as possible.

As for those who are looking to keep that up during Ramadan, here are some tips that I think would be useful:

The ability to exercise can be made a lot easier with the right nutrition and adequate sleep! Sleep is one of those things we forgo often when fasting.

This is understandable, however, when you
have to rock up to work the next day firing on
all cylinders, sleepiness combined with general tiredness is not going to help you. In fact, you might just be like a grizzly with a sorehead and we all know how that ends.

The timing of your exercise can reduce the difficulty involved with getting it done in the first place. Try and exercise as close to iftar time as possible. That way, you are able to nourish your body not long after ex exercising, which also assists with recovery.

Let’s face it, which one of our iftar spreads is not going to have some sort of protein? Plus, you aren’t rolling over in hunger and tiredness for too long before the athaan comes to the rescue.


Rashid Elhawli

Rashid is a 22 year old medical student still finding my way in the healthcare system. Otherwise sports are my go to in my spare time.

Originally printed in Podium Magazine Edition 1, published in 2017.

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