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How To Keep Proper Workout Form During Intermittent Fasting


Maintaining appropriate workout form is important, especially if you are intermittent fasting (IF). IF can be a useful weight-management and health-improvement strategy, but it also requires exercise while your body is in a different fuel condition. “Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a popular weight loss treatment that involves alternating periods of eating and fasting. Instead of focusing on specific foods, it highlights when to eat,” said Anupama Menon, certified Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach, Bengaluru and Mumbai. Here’s how to keep excellent workout form and make your workouts successful and safe when intermittent fasting:

Understand Your Body’s Energy Phases

Fasted State

“Recognise that during fasting, your body shifts from using glucose to fatty acids and ketone bodies for energy. This transition can affect your stamina and strength. Training in your eating window might provide more energy due to the recent intake of nutrients, possibly enhancing performance,” said Vipul Gupta, Fitness expert at IXPLODE, Darbhanga, Bihar.

Also read: How Much Exercise Is Too Much Exercise? Dr Explain Its Side Effects On Bone Health

Hydrate Adequately

“Even mild dehydration can impair performance and concentration, leading to poor form. Ensure you’re well-hydrated before, during, and after workouts. Consider adding electrolytes to your water if you’re working out intensely or if it’s hot,” said Gupta. 

Optimise Your Training Time

Experiment with different workout timings to find what suits you best. Some find they perform well during the tail end of their fast, while others may prefer working out shortly after their first meal. If you feel weak or dizzy while exercising fasted, consider adjusting your workout schedule.

Start with a Warm-Up

Begin with a thorough warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints, regardless of your fasting state. This can help prevent injury and ensure your body is ready to maintain proper form throughout your workout.

Focus on Technique Over Intensity

Especially when fasting, prioritise form and technique over lifting heavier weights or pushing for more intense sessions. This reduces the risk of injury and ensures you’re effectively targeting the intended muscle groups. Consider reducing weights or intensity if you find maintaining form challenging.

Incorporate Mind-Muscle Connection

Focus on the muscle you’re working on. This connection can help ensure you’re engaging the right muscles and maintaining form, even if your energy levels are fluctuating due to fasting.

Fuel Your Body Appropriately

When you do eat, focus on nutrient-dense foods that provide both immediate energy and longer-lasting fuel. A balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is essential for recovery and performance. Pre-workout meals (if within your eating window) should be light but energising, focusing on easily digestible carbohydrates and some protein.

Listen to Your Body

If you feel unusually fatigued, lightheaded, or unable to maintain form, it’s crucial to listen to your body. These could be signs that you need to adjust your fasting schedule, workout intensity, or nutrition.

Also read: Combatting Delhi’s Winter Chill: 7 Indoor Exercises for Belly Fat Loss

Adjust as Needed

Be prepared to modify your workout routine based on how you feel. This might mean switching to lower-intensity exercises or reducing the volume on days when you’re not feeling 100%.

Stay Consistent with Recovery Practices

Adequate rest, stretching, and possibly incorporating activities like yoga or foam rolling can help maintain muscle flexibility and reduce the risk of injury, aiding in the maintenance of good workout form.

Consult with a Professional

If you’re new to intermittent fasting or combining it with a rigorous workout routine, consider consulting with a fitness professional and a doctor. They can provide personalised advice based on your health status and fitness goals. Intermittent fasting presents unique challenges to exercise routines, but with careful planning and listening to your body, you can maintain proper form and have effective workouts. 

Remember, the goal of combining IF with exercise is to enhance your health and well-being, so adjustments may be necessary to find the right balance for your body.

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