As we’ve become accustomed to prioritizing at-home workouts versus going to the gym we look to the expertise of Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Expert & Certified Fitness Coach Hanna Salem, on how to stay fit from home and prioritize our wellness with a healthy diet during the month of Ramadan.
Tell us a little bit about yourself Hanna…
Hello! I’m currently twenty-three and about a year ago, I returned to Dubai after completing my University Degree in Sports Therapy at the University of Kent, UK. I was born and raised in Dubai, so it’s home to me! I am Scottish-Egyptian, so I grew up very accustomed to Ramadan and the Arabic culture in general.
How did your fitness journey begin?
I've always been active. Growing up, I’d wanted to give every sport a go, I loved being a part of various school teams as well as being interested in the science behind sport and injuries. This led me to study Sports Therapy at University, however, upon graduating, I decided I wanted to take a year out of education and pursue a Personal Training Qualification. This meant I could pair my in-depth knowledge of Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, with helping people achieve their fitness goals in a gym environment.
What are the three most essential foods in a healthy diet?
This is quite a tricky question. A healthy diet is a broad term often associated with some misconceptions. Ultimately a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, within your recommended calorie scope, is what is needed. However, these would be the three I would choose personally. Berries: I could not live without berries, they’re packed with antioxidants, and they are sweet and amazing to snack on. Avocado: the healthy kind of fat! You can substitute a lot of ingredients in baking and cooking for avocado (even chocolate brownies!), its versatility is amazing. They have the highest protein content out of all fruit! Brown Rice: Maybe this is the Egyptian in me speaking, but I cannot live without rice! It’s so quick and easy to add to a meal, even salads, to incorporate some sustenance.
What should we prioritize in our diets during Ramadan?
I recommend using fresh, unprocessed produce. This will reduce the salt content you’re consuming, which will prevent you from becoming overly thirsty during the day while you’re fasting. Additionally, opt for lean cuts of meat ( preferably with no skin) to get your fix of protein. Try to include a lot of vegetables, lentils and whole-grain foods, as these are packed with fibre and vitamins which will help provide you with energy during the day.
What are your 3 superstar workouts for daily fitness from home during Ramadan?
Hanna Salem on fitness in Ramadan
Stairs: As we aren’t able to get out and about as much, it’s very difficult to get our daily steps in. Ramadan can be a challenging time for the body, so there’s no need for any overly fancy workout. If you live in an apartment, there should be a stairwell at your disposal. You can adapt the intensity; try two steps at a time, try running, walking, and change it up!
Hanna Salem on Yoga in Ramadan
Yoga or Mobility: As day-to-day life has slowed down a bit, we are spending a lot more time sedentary, be it sitting, sleeping or lying on the sofa. This can cause our muscles and joints to become tight and sore. A gentle yoga session, which can be found easily online, or a mobility based stretching routine, can help to alleviate these aches, while also allowing you to connect with your mind and de-stress.
Hanna Salem on working out in Ramadan
A Backpack Workout: It’s simple! Grab a backpack, and fill it with any sort of heavy items you have around the house such as tinned food or water bottles. It will add an extra bit of resistance to your normal body weight exercises such as squats, lunges and press-ups. If you’re feeling motivated, you could even pair the weighted backpack, with the stairs! You’ll work up a sweat quickly, without having to overdo it.
A life quote you live by…
“What’s for you, won’t pass you.”