Working Out During A Fast Is Beneficial
By Kushal Pal Singh
Fasting has been a tradition as old as any. We all have fasted at one time or another, for various reasons including but not limited to cultural, religious, and health purposes.
While fasts are often observed for good health, an unhealthy myth follows this custom. It is often believed that one should not work out during fasting. But the truth cannot be any far from the truth. Working out during fasts can be beneficial if you know what kind of workout plan works for you.
Fat Burning: During fasting, glycogen levels in your body are low. This encourages the body to use stored fat as a source of energy.
Improved insulin sensitivity: A healthy combination of workout and fasting aids in enhanced insulin sensitivity which can improve blood sugar control and have long-term benefits for metabolic health.
Mind-body connection: Fasting can create a heightened sense of awareness and mindfulness. Coupled with exercise, it can enhance the mind-body connection and promote a deeper sense of focus and presence during your workouts.
Mental focus and clarity: Some individuals report improved mental focus and clarity during fasted workouts. This could be due to the body adapting to using alternative fuel sources and the potential cognitive benefits associated with fasting.
How To Revamp Your Workout During Fasting
Oftentimes, after knowing the benefits of the workout during fasting, people may get too excited and indulge in an extreme workout. And that is exactly what is not to be done. Working out during a fast requires a strategy to compensate for the lack of energy. Too much of anything is wrong, and the rule applies here too. So, how should one workout during fasting? Just follow the guide below, and you should be able to work out efficiently during calorie deficiency.
Avoid Heavy Workouts: Engaging in heavy or intense workouts during fasting periods can be challenging for your body due to limited energy and hydration. It’s generally recommended to avoid heavy workouts during fasting to ensure your well-being and prevent potential health risks. Some of the reasons for this may include lower energy levels, a dehydrated body, muscle breakdown, and irrelevant resources for recovery and repair of the body.
Instead of heavy workouts, consider opting for lighter, low-intensity exercises, such as gentle cardio, yoga, or stretching during fasting periods. These activities can help maintain movement, promote flexibility, and provide a lower-intensity option that is more suitable during fasting.
Maintain Energy Level: Maintaining the right levels of energy is important for a fruitful workout. You won’t be able to utilize your workout time if you do not have enough resources to move about. So, what can you do?
Schedule your workout in accordance with the time of the day when you have the most energy. It may take some time to figure out the right time frame, but once you understand it, you will be able to work out during fasting more efficiently.
Consume a balanced meal during the non-fasting window ahead of your workout. Select foods that contain a variety of complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. This can help you maintain energy levels during your workout.
It may be beneficial for you to reduce the strenuousness of your workouts while fasting. Focus on low to moderate-intensity activities that are less exhausting.
Prioritize restoring your energy stores and providing your body with the nutrition it requires for replenishment after your workout and breaking the fast.
Eat a well-balanced meal with carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle repair, and healthy fats for satiety.
Focus On More Cardio and Fewer Weights: During a fast, focusing on cardio exercises and reducing the intensity of weightlifting can be a suitable approach.
Here are some tips for incorporating more cardio and reducing weightlifting during fasting:
Opt for activities like jogging, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or aerobics as your primary workout during the fasting period.
Perform cardio exercises at a moderate intensity level that allows you to maintain a steady pace without excessive strain.
Consider interval training, alternating between periods of higher and lower intensity, to challenge yourself while still focusing on cardio.
If you wish to include some weight training, choose lighter weights, and perform fewer repetitions rather than heavy lifting that could cause undue strain on your body.
Listen to your body and adjust the duration and intensity of your workouts according to your energy levels and comfort.