Fitness, India, Lifestyle, Selfcare

How to stay fit when you’re fasting #FitnessWithVarsh

“Fasting is not just a physical discipline; it can be a spiritual feast.” ~ Jentezen Franklin. Fasting is an old, trusted way to allow our body to cleanse itself and dip into its resources for nourishment and energy. Probably that’s why we’ve grown up observing people of different religions around us fast for different reasons throughout the year. The nature of fasting may be diverse but the faith and spiritual connection with the universe during that time is truly special. Since childhood, I’ve been encouraged to fast according to my age and capability. However, I’ve been guilty of using it as an excuse to hog on dry fruits, sweets, fasting food, and other mouth-watering delicacies till a few years ago. When fitness became a lifestyle choice I consciously devised practical ways to stay fit and enjoy this experience too. After all, I don’t want my weighing machine to curse me!

How to stay fit when you’re fasting_avibrantpalette

Most of us stress more about missing meals and bother less to stay fit while fasting. My first Navratri fast had me looking cadaver-like by the end although I was on a nutritious diet of fruits and milk. Forget workout or garba, my energy levels dropped significantly after regular domestic chores. Certainly, weighing 70+ kgs meant that I had plenty of surplus reserve. Was I really physically weak or imagining it? The psychosomatic effect, after all. It’s advisable to follow a relaxed fitness routine for the duration of your fast. Don’t lose and don’t gain either. Win-win?

Choose the right calories

Most fasting foods are high in fats and carbohydrates, the idea being to consume them in limited quantities. However, the problem starts when their irresistible, luscious aroma beckons us lovingly and we end up overeating. To avoid falling for these natural human instincts and stay fit, promise yourself to make healthy eating choices. Milk, buttermilk, fresh fruits and juices, dates, homemade sugar-free laddoos, etc provide natural sugars that’ll help you sustain through the day. Treat yourself to something nice once in a while but don’t make it a habit.

Strength training without weights

I’m a big fan of strength training especially with weights since it gives toning with better and quicker results. Anyone who pulls weights though will know that it drains you out after every workout. Squats, lunges, crunches, mountain climbers, etc are great ways to stay fit even when you don’t pump metal. Put on some upbeat music, grab your workout buddy and try some fun couple workouts to enjoy yourself. If you must, keep it light and easy. You can get back to it post fasting.

Cardio can be entertaining too

Cardio is crucial for weight loss but that shouldn’t be your first concern while fasting. It uplifts our mood, benefits joint health, improves blood circulation, and helps us sleep better. Missing regular meals is bound to give you insomnia and cardio can be your much-needed friendly respite. Plug in your headphones and go for a walk, easy jog or cycling, dance away the blues or slay some jumping jacks, skipping, or high jumps. The best part is that you’ll stay fit and feel happy inside out!

Yoga to connect with your inner self

Yoga is a complete discipline and embodies every workout within itself. It both strains and heals, burns and cools, and stresses out and relaxes. Yoga helps improve our flexibility, mobility, and posture while reducing our anxiety levels and improving our sleep patterns. Performing Yoga is one of the most rewarding experiences since it makes us celebrate our body and its true potential. You not only stay fit but also realise the challenges you’re capable of taking on. It’s a beautiful spiritual journey.

Along with these, allow yourself rest days and ample time to meditate. Fasting is a wonderful way to demonstrate our faith in whichever God we believe in. Pray every day, be thankful for the health and love of our loved ones, and don’t forget to love yourself too. Spend some time in your own company and reestablish the bond with yourself. It’s worth it!

*Please note that the workouts you choose to perform depend upon the nature of your fast and your regular fitness routine. You’re advised to make corresponding choices accordingly.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by BakezbyDaizy.

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31 thoughts on “How to stay fit when you’re fasting #FitnessWithVarsh

  1. I could relate to being weak and low on energy during fasts, as I used to follow the same fruits and milk diet. However, as you mentioned a littile understanding of what and how much can make a huge difference. These are some great tips, V.

  2. Your fitness related posts are always informative and you shared great tips which help us a lot to stay motivated. I also feel that yoga is a best way to connect with our inner self. it is best way to start our spiritual journey.

  3. Mostly I do fasting once in a week and on some specific festival puja days. In Bengal we consider fasting as complete fasting surviving on water only or in specific days with no water. With consumption of fasting foods and fasting we dont consider not at all a fasting rather a change in choice of food. The concept of fasting is the clearing of the toxins of the body which can no way possible if we take any medium of food that day. Yes true meditation helps to stay calm on fasting days and so is Yoga. I am not at all in favor of cardio or strength training during fasting days as I am aware of 5 such fatal cases of people known to me.

  4. This is one kind of diet that I always try to do but had always failed as well. I applaud the discipline one has to be able to finish a week or month of fasting. You’ve given great tips and I might as well try again, with high hopes to find continuity doing it.

  5. Yes true meditation helps to stay calm on fasting days and so is Yoga. I am not at all in favor of cardio or strength training during fasting days . You’ve given great tips and I might as well try again, with high hopes to find continuity doing it.

  6. I had always kept 9 days navratri fast and end up being bloated, headaches and low on energy always, until l i realized that the food I was having was the culprit. choosing the correct healthy food and counting calorie is the key .

  7. Nice post Varsh. By default i have a soft corner for people who take care if their bodies😊.

    Like they say, we are what we eat. Food is the most important factor of our health n fitness but we do need to detoxify our bodies n give it rest. So far the only day of the year I fast for is Teej… I do nirjal… n its one day n I manage easily so I really don’t know much about fasting foods etc. I try to do intermittent fasting most days… it is doable n workable for me n doesn’t interfere much with my lifestyle.

  8. Varsha, I agree entirely that choosing the right calories is critical when fasting. Every day, I meditate in the morning. Strength training with or without weights during fasting is impossible for me.😄

  9. I never ever do any kind of fasting or any diet. Because I can’t , but I agree with you one should take care of diet apecily this navaratri fasting and strength also. Yoga is one of the beat option to connect with your innerself. Once you have right food and right exercise you will be always healthy.

  10. Fasting is just not my cup of tea. I tried twice and actually collapsed. But yes, it’s good to fast with the right food. Its the best way to detox. All the best to those who are fasting 🙂

  11. Very practical tips. You are absolutely right. The food during fasts are usually quite rich and can do more harm than good. We need to find a balance.

  12. I am on a diet and alongwith that I am fasting for Navratri. It becomes so difficult for me to balance both as I loose my energy by the time it is evening. I loved the idea of yoga and balanced eating. Great tips for maintaining the diet and fasting together.

  13. Very informative & helpful post. It is important for us to build our stamina with regular diet and exercise so that even when we fast we are able to function without feeling weak. I know this….but yet iam guilty of letting things slide. 😏

  14. This post will be helpful for those fitness enthusiasts who are fasting. Choosing the right calories and right food is always important.

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