Getting Back on Track in 5

We all fall off the fitness wagon. Don’t despair, just get back on.

Perhaps you just finished the blessed month of Ramadan, congratulations! Hopefully you had a great month of fasting and were able to reap all the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting for 30 days. Fasting can certainly be difficult on the body, and whether or not you kept active during the day, here is how you can get yourself back on track.

1. Start your day with apple cider vinegar – use organic, raw and unpasteurized! (Bragg’s)

bragg-apple-cider-vinegar1

  • Boosts your metabolism
  • Neutralizes the pH of your body
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved stamina & energy
  • Decreased restless leg syndrome symptoms with increased potassium
  • How to drink it: mix 1 tbsp with 6-8 oz of water or apple juice.

 

2. Ease back into exercise and strength training.

  • If you are getting back into running and are easily able to run, then great! Otherwise, consider a run walk strategy given that your endurance may have been compromised.
  • Move first thing in the morning. Whether its a quick yoga sequence, 10-15 minutes of jumping jacks, crunches and pushups, or a jog, get moving for 20-30 minutes every day.

3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Add fruit slices or mint leaves to jazz it up if needed.

4. Craving carbs? Choose complex carbs. Add protein.

  • Hummus with veggies
  • Apple slices with a nut butter
  • Fruit smoothie with protein powder

5. Eat lean, clean and green! The days of eating late and ‘whatever you want’ are over, so get back into eating a well-balanced meal! I ate bits of superfood greens throughout Ramadan. Each single calorie tab is loaded with 64% protein!

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Perfect summer pina colada

I am always dreaming of the ocean, and what better way to whisk you away than a pina colada! SUPER fresh and easy. Coconut milk has medium chain fatty acids, which helps to support metabolism. Unfortunately the brand I picked up has carageenan in it, so I will need to find an alternative for next time.

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blend together:
1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup of frozen pineapple
1 frozen or fresh banana
quarter to half cup of coconut water

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 16g
Protein 1g 2%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

enjoy!

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#FitRamadan move(s) of the day

We are now into the 2nd third of Ramadan, where we dip into our fat reserves. It’s hard. We are tired, we are grumpy, but we must not forget the beauty that Ramadan brings. The month of fasting is not meant to change our schedule, but rather change our hearts, and make us better human beings. These ten days are the days of forgiveness. For those who are continuing some semblance of an exercise routine during Ramadan, bravo! It’s not easy, is it? Here is a workout I did today, before I did light cardio (2 mile walk). Safe to say, I’m a little light headed at the moment 😀

Remember! If you are lifting weights, go lighter and add a set or increase repetitions.

This is a great set of exercises that incorporate pushing and pulling motions for the upper body. These moves require balance, which will challenge your core.

Aim for 3 sets of each

Upper Body Challenge - Intensify your training by engaging your coreBalancing bicep curl – 12 reps, each arm – raise one leg and flex your knee and perform the bicep curl. Complete the reps and switch sides

Tricep Extension  – 12 reps – with a dumbbell or resistance band (see video). Or you can perform skull crushers on a bench

Bent Over Row with weight plate – 12 reps – or you can use dumbbellsUpper Body Challenge - Intensify your training by engaging your core

Leaning One-Arm Side lateral raise – 12 reps, each arm – lateral raises work the front and middle deltoids

Forearms to Hands BOSU Plank – 10 reps, each arm (see pic) – if you don’t have a BOSU handy, you can easily perform this move from forearm plank to hand plank

Smith Machine Pull-up for 60 seconds, or 10 reps (see pic) – if you don’t have a Smith Machine at home (who does?) then take a resistance band shoulder height, and shoulder width apart and extend out, hold for 20 seconds, feeling the resistance.

(Photo credits from FitnessRx.com)

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Be Fit for Ramadan

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By Ayesha Akhtar, MPH, CPT

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous. (Surah Al-Baqarah: Verse183)

With Ramadan approaching in just a few short weeks, many of you, like myself, are wondering how to maintain a level of fitness throughout the month of Ramadan, so as not to lose endurance and muscle tone (neither are completely true). Fear not! There are several habits you can adopt throughout your day, and can maybe even enhance the spiritual aspect of fasting by giving you a little extra energy here and there. I’ve share below some of my own lessons learned. Feel free to share your own!

For my readers who are not familiar with the logistics of Ramadan, allow me to share. Fasting for 30 days during the month of Ramadan (one month on the lunar calendar) is one of the five main pillars of Islam. This year, Ramadan begins at the end of June. Physically and mentally able Muslims (there are several exemptions) will fast from dawn to sunset, abstaining from food, water, smoking, and sex during those times. At sunset, it is tradition to break fast with a date, which is essentially a superfood, water and the company of others. It is such a beautiful time of togetherness and camaraderie. Many faiths participate in fasting on some level. The first few days are tough, then your body gets into a groove, the last 10 days are hard, knowing the end is near. It is a time for physical cleansing, and spiritual resetting. Many will attend the Mosque for prayers more often than, others prefer to stay at home. We end the month of Ramadan with Eid ul Fitr, a celebration lasting three days, with gift giving galore!  Continue reading Be Fit for Ramadan

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UAE weightlifter Amna Al Haddad eyes the 2016 Olympics

I came across this inspiring interview by UAE weightlifter Amna Al Haddad. Pushing the boundaries as a Muslim woman, and as an Olympic hopeful!

I love to see women lifting weights!

UAE weightlifter Amna Al Haddad eyes the 2016 Olympics.

I’m also excited to approach Ramadan differently, from a fitness and exercise perspective. I underestimated myself last year, and relaxed quite a bit. I’m going to be maintaining my lifting sessions, but at a lesser intensity. For me, regularity will be more important than stopping altogether.

 

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Recipe: Overnight Oats

The recipes for overnight oats are a dime a dozen, make them your own way! Really, don’t get hung up on how to make them “perfect”. I love to make them the night before I know I will have a busy morning, race day, or during Ramadan, for my pre-dawn meal (Suhoor).

The oats truly need at least 3 hours in the fridge, but many just keep them overnight. They are very easy to make, and all you need to remember is a 1:1 ratio of oats to liquid. Most will add milk of your choice, I’ve seen some people add juice. I would not… Play with the thickness of oats you desire, more or less liquid, more or less yogurt.

To the milk and oat mixture, some people will add (greek) yogurt for added smoothness and protein. I go back and forth on how I feel about the yogurt. It’s great to get that extra bit of protein for sure. To this you can add several nuts, seeds, spices, and dried fruit. Be sure to give it a good stir before you set it for the night, and in the morning you can add fresh fruit. I like to top off with fresh bananas.

Overnight oats
Overnight oats

Some additions to add before refrigeration:
Chia seeds
Cacao nibs
Nuts
Hemp seeds
Agave
Cinnamon
Honey
PB2
Cocoa powder
Protein powder

Good morning! Now, stir it up and you can add:
Peanut butter
Fresh fruit
Espresso shots
Jam
Anything else you want!

 

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