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How to Stay Fit While You Fast

The reason why people fast is because they believe that fasting is as a tradition, to promote self discipline or to detoxify their bodies. Although most of us begin fasting with a good reason, we end up eating much more fat laden food by the end of the day. In fact, most fasts in India are an excuse to eat sweets and high-calorie food.

Diet during fast days

The kind of fast one adopts will require different diet plans, but a few general things to keep in mind during that period are -

  • We normally overdo coffee and tea intake during a fast which dehydrates your body and must be consumed in limit.
  • The first bite you eat after fasting the whole day should never be a heavily fried item or overtly sweet one. Both of these are not good for digestion of a body that's in fast mode. Eat healthy sugary things like honey, replace the fried with baked.
  • Eating food that hydrates the body is of utmost importance, fruits and vegetables like cucumber or watermelon that are high in water content are a good way to break the fast or even give you energy through the day.
  • Watch for carbohydrates and always complement them with curd, milk etc. to balance it out as carbs are very heavy to digest.
Exercising during fast days

Now, whether one can exercise during the fast or not largely depends on how long the fast is and their fitness routine otherwise. For example, if the fast you're doing allows you to eat when the sun is down, you can replenish the nutrients and fluid to manage a workout. Exercises that require constant hydration or consumption of foods should be avoided. Water is needed for a large number of metabolic processes and is of special importance if you will be exercising.

There are a lot of benefits of exercising, some being -

  • When one exercises in the duration of their fast, it increases the oxidative stress which is extremely beneficial for muscles.
  • Exercising also helps shed fat as body's fat burning processes are controlled by your sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and your SNS is activated by exercise and lack of food
  • If the workout is an intense one it must be followed by fast accepted proteins or those exercises should not be performed.
  • Research suggests that fasting for consecutive days without exercise can result in a regression of strength and fitness with regards to cardiovascular and resistance adaptations.
  • One must continue their current regime if not lessen it during their fasts.
Things to keep in mind-
  • Exercise with caution if you suffer from any chronic diseases, injury or complication. People with type 1 diabetes should not exercise at all, as this can upset their glucose levels.

Exercise because fasting is only a part, not your life regime.

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