When you are fasting, you may be asking yourself some days: “Why am I doing this to myself?” All this renunciation and then also to the sport? That can’t be a good thing! Yes, it can. If you do it right, you can be fit and active despite fasting.
No sugar, no alcohol, no carbohydrates: some things you do without during the fasting period your body does not necessarily need, others do. So how does the feed stop affect your performance in the gym or on the running track? We are investigating that here. And first a tip for everyone who wants to shed a few pounds: Get our training and nutrition guide for healthy weight loss here.
Is sport healthy during Lent?
It all depends on how or how intensely you fast. For example, if you decide to forego sugar or alcohol during the official Christian Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter, you can continue to train as normal. This deprivation will actually have a positive effect on your training. Here you can read how you can do without sugar.
But if you do without the usual food components such as carbohydrates or meat, this can very well have an effect on your energy level. If you even do a therapeutic fasting regimen in which you do not eat anything and only drink tea and water, or if you do without solid food during the day as in the Muslim faith, it is only logical that this affects your athletic performance. And have you ever tried intermittent fasting? This is how you can find out which fasting method suits you.
Should I refrain from exercising during Lent?
Not necessarily. Exercise is generally healthy (as long as you don’t overdo it) while you are fasting. Movement keeps the circulation and metabolism going and also prevents protein breakdown in the muscles. Even so, there are a few things to watch out for when exercising while fasting.
What do I have to watch out for when exercising on fasting days?
It is always very important to pay attention to your body’s signals and needs. First and foremost, there are 6 points to keep in mind when exercising during Lent:
1. Do not give full throttle immediately
Be particularly careful on the first few days of fasting or take a break from exercising until your body has adjusted and your blood sugar and acid-base balance have regulated.
2. Don’t overdo the workload
Do not overwhelm yourself. Your body is not ready for a marathon or high intensity training. Competitive and high-performance sports are taboo during fasting.
3. Do not demand maximum performance
You should avoid explosive movements, high-speed strength training or quick position changes on dull days.
4. Satisfy yourself with less
When you are feeling good, you can follow your exercise routine. But: don’t expect your body to do its regular exercise. Without an energy supply, a lower performance is quite logical.
5. Pay attention to the body’s warning signals
Always listen to your body: dizziness and cold sweats are warning signs that you shouldn’t ignore. No false ambition! In such cases, stop training immediately.
6. Don’t give up completely
If you run the risk of becoming a couch potato because of insufficient performance: Moderate exercise, cycling or a walk are better than no exercise at all and support your fasting project. Alternatively, you can of course do without anything other than food and train as usual on the side: Here we introduce you to fasting ideas that can change your life.
If you follow our tips for exercising, the fasting period can also help you train more mindfully, listen better to your body and learn to accept your physical limits. In addition, after the fasting period you will notice all the more clearly how much energy your body can draw from a healthy diet.