Q: Is it okay to exercise during Ramadan?
AM: There is nothing wrong with exercising during Ramadan, as long as you exercise during the earlier morning hours so you have time to drink some water before the sun comes up. Or you may choose to exercise after the sun goes down. I definitely wouldn’t recommend exercising at 8 in the morning and then not drinking water after your workout. You risk dehydration and harm to your body if you do not replenish what is lost after your body has released fluids through sweat. So you can get an early start, turn off the TV and exercise.
Exercising early in the morning may mean you will have to spend from 8-9 p.m. or 9-10 p.m. reading your Qur’an before going to bed. Also utilize times that you would normally drink something during the day and your breaks at work as a time to read the Qur’an–study and reflection, instead of sport and play. Keep in mind that Ramadan is a cleansing time to also give our bodies a mental and spiritual workout. It is a time to discipline ourselves by abstaining from food and drink during the daylight hours. Nevertheless, if we practice Ramadan properly, drinking a couple glasses of water in the morning to help us get through the day, we should have no problem performing our basic daily activities.
Ramadan also helps us, as followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, to get back on track (if we have strayed) to our one meal a day and practicing “how to eat to live.” We are exercising and strengthening our will during this time. Let us use it wisely. May Allah bless us all with success in our righteous endeavors.
Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary plan.
(Audrey Muhammad, a certified personal trainer and aerobic instructor, is the author of The Sister’s Guide to Fitness and the creator of the KIBOS exercise video and the Get Fit to Live KIBOS Challenge. Send questions and comments to [email protected].)