Staying healthy and active this Ramadan with the help of your Apple Watch

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Keep a track of your progress with the Apple Watch.

Ramadan comes every year with a range of activities, whether its Iftar, late night shopping or sleepless nights with family and friends, this usually results in the consumption of more food and a break in your fitness routine.

Studies actually show that fasting, when done correctly, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces disease risk and supports weight loss. Hence the importance of staying healthy & active.

Maintaining an active lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym daily, but rather be aware of the small activities throughout the day that can make a difference. You don’t have to be an athlete to move and get motivated. You can use Apple Watch Series 4 to be your ultimate fitness companion to keep track of all your efforts and movements. Whether you are getting your groceries or participating in a marathon, your Apple Watch knows your movements and will inform you accordingly.

We have put together a guide with few tips to keep you energized, fit and encourage you to achieve new milestones while not missing anything out there.

For those who want to track their daily activities

During Ramadan, you will need all your energy to maintain focus.

At work or at home, do quick gentle stretching to avoid extreme fatigue during the day. Apple Watch series 4 is aimed to be your active partner and offer features that will remind you to take a breath, walk or simply stand up if you been inactive for too long. If you want to make it more fun, try to download Wakeout from the App Store, for a chance to access 600+ fun exercises to be done exactly where you are right now.

While enjoying the Ramadan night markets or just shopping in-malls, the activity app in your Apple Watch will count your total steps , distance and calories. Make it a regular practice during the week and track your progress. It can only motivate you to score more everyday, you’d be surprise by the results.

Spend that extra time you have until Iftar to refocus on yourself and relieve accumulated stress with meditation. We all know how difficult it can be to concentrate on an empty stomach but as your body needs to remain active so needs your brain. Choose the yoga workout in the Apple Watch to trace all types of yoga sessions from restorative to power vinyasa flow. You might also want to download Calm from the App Store your go-to solution for meditation and conscientiousness. Listen to stories, music or instructions to relax from the convenience of your AirPods and free yourself for mindful movements.

For those who want to monitor their workouts

In addition to keeping track of your daily activities, your Apple Watch will help monitor your workouts.

Fasting is not an excuse to become couch potato or give-up your training; instead adapt your workout routine accordingly. Exercise one hour before Iftar rather than morning sessions to avoid dehydration and lack of energy during the day. It’s also a good way to distract your mind until you break your fast, as the last hours are known to be the most difficult.

Given the weather in Dubai at this period, you might consider to train indoors. Your Apple Watch will automatically detect most popular sports while you move; like running, cycling, swimming and many more, alerting you to start the dedicated workout app to screen your efforts, if you haven’t done so.

Always listen to your body! Avoid long periods of cardio if you feel dehydrated. Set up clear target and map your run thanks to the Pace alert on your wrist that will notify you if you are behind or ahead of your objective. Don’t overdo it as your recovery time may suffer, alternatively use the Cadence feature on your Apple Watch; it will keep you safe from injuries by sending you information about your steps per minute, allowing you to adjust your running technique.

Use GymKit workout equipment with your Apple Watch to experience a complete digital fitness solution. GymKit offers two-way synchronization between Apple Watch and gym equipment for more accurate distance, pace and energy burn metrics such as speed, calories and heart rate.

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The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% has been revamped - and it's a bit special

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The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%

A running favourite is back – and is set to high the right notes with both pros and less serious runners alike.

Aside from its updated name, the marathon-dominating Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% has been revamped from toe to heel to incorporate key feedback from Nike’s world champion runners.

Its second iteration dazzles with an improved upper (largely thanks to athletes including Shalan Flanagan who gave feedback after water weighed her down in Boston), a re-tooled midsole (a Nike Sport Research Lab solution that combined feedback from many of Nike’s elites) and a redesigned traction pattern (this was a major ask from Eliud Kipchoge after he ran a very wet race in Berlin).

“This shoe is truly the result of our athletes, sport scientists, engineers and designers closely collaborating throughout the entire process of design, testing and manufacturing,” says Brett Holts,

Nike VP of Running Footwear. “We are all so excited to see the NEXT% continue to push the limits of human performance on marathon courses around the world.”

Why NEXT%?

When Nike launched the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, the shoe delivered an average of 4 percent improved running economy over Nike’s previous fastest marathon shoe, the Nike Zoom Streak 6.

The upgrade to NEXT% represents looking forward to each new race day as a chance to cross the line faster. Because as Mo Farah recently said, “As an athlete, you’re always looking for that next percent.”

Together, these technical upgrades make the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% Nike’s fastest shoe ever.

4 Reasons Elite Athletes are Excited About the NEXT%:

1. “With the plate, they get you on our toes, get you moving forward as fast as you can.” — Mo Farah

2. “They fit me better, especially around the shoelaces.” — Suguru Osako

3. “The added foam in the forefoot feels like it’s giving me more energy return in the final moment of my stride. I just ran my fastest-ever training run while testing them!” — Roza Dereje

4. “Traction is very important to give you the freedom and confidence to run without limits.” — Geoffrey Kirui

What’s new:

Vaporweave, a material construction debuting on the upper, is lighter than Nike Flyknit, breathable and — critically — absorbs far less water from sweat or rain, so it stays airy and dry over the course of a marathon.

The laces are slightly offset to alleviate pressure along the sensitive part of the foot. (It’s a look Mo Farah said he was very into).

A thin foam pod inside the heel keeps the Achilles happy as the miles add up.

There’s more Nike ZoomX foam in the midsole, which has been scientifically proven in Nike’s Sport Research Lab to further increase energy return.

That foam has been redistributed to decrease the offset from 11mm to 8mm to provide a more stable feeling and help maximize energy return at the critical toe-off.

Designers merged Kirui, Kipchoge and Farah’s custom traction patterns to improve the forefoot grip so the shoe handles better in wet weather.

Contoured treads with deep grooves on the outsole facilitate smoother movement during turns.

What’s returning?

Still embedded within the foam is a full-length curved carbon fiber plate that increases stiffness to provide a sensation of propulsion.

The shoe’s weight stays the same — even with 15 percent more foam.

When will it be available?

The product will be available in Nike retail stores in Dubai starting from July 2019, retailing at AED 1299.

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GymNation personal trainers share their top tips for Ramadan 2019

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It is that time of the year when many if not most people are discussing or considering workout best practices while fasting during Ramadan.

Jason Young and Hussain Al Ajmi,personal trainers at GymNation, share their tips and bust myths on the topic for workout veterans and first-timers.

What are some myths about exercising during Ramadan?

Myth 1: Exercise is a waste of time during Ramadan

Truth:

Hussain Al Ajmi (HA) – It is really important to keep up your exercise routine as much as possible in Ramadan so that there is a lesser impact on your body due to any dietary or lifestyle changes.

Jason Young (JY) – maintaining your exercise regime combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle is scientifically proven to have an immense impact on improving energy levels, which would be beneficial for those who are fasting. On the contrary, to discontinue your exercise regime for a month can, in fact, have several negative side effects on the body such as mental and muscle fatigue, loss of muscle and fitness.

Myth 2: I can eat anything at all since I am fasting

Truth:

HA – You have to watch what you eat during Ramadan, just because you are not eating during the day does not mean that you can eat mindlessly when and after breaking your fast. Try to maintain a healthy diet as much as possible.

Myth 3: I’ll lose weight because I’m not eating all day

Truth:

JY – Just because you are not eating throughout the day, your body’s need for exercise does not disappear. You should still aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day to maintain and improve your mood, energy levels, and body and mind function overall.

During Ramadan, what should people avoid or include in the meal before working out?

HA – Before working out, it is important to have carbs, both complex and simple, which are the primary source of energy for the body. It is also important to include a good source of protein in your Iftar meal in order to avoid muscle breakdown during the workout. Foods that are high in fat (especially trans-fat) is to be avoided as much as possible before a workout.

JY – It is easy to indulge in food during Ramadan. However, Iftar and Suhoor meals should be a simple and well-balanced meal, not a feast, and should not differ substantially from your normal everyday diet.

To maintain a balanced and nutritious diet, a person should consume food from all the major food groups, equally distributed between the two meal times.

The major food groups are:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, and chicken
  • Bread, cereals, and potatoes
  • Dairy products such as milk and cheese
  • Foods containing healthy fats and natural sugars

There are certain foods that should be avoided such as:

  • Fried and fatty foods like fried potatoes, samosas, etc. These types of foods contain a high percentage of the daily recommended fat and sodium intake and eating them frequently may increase the impact of fatigue and exhaustion caused by fasting during Ramadan.
  • Foods that contain a high amount of salt, such as pickles. An excess of sodium can dehydrate the body and impact its ability to absorb fluids.
  • Foods that contain large amounts of sugar. Whilst they tend to be a sweet treat, these foods are often high in calories but poor in nutritional value. They will provide the body with instant energy, but the energy is generally short-lived.

What is an ideal time gap to maintain between the meal and workout?

HA – An ideal time gap between Iftar/a meal and the workout should be 2-3 hours, which is enough time for your body to digest the food.

JY – As a general guide, all workouts should be kept between 30 to 60 minutes and cardiovascular exercises should be limited to twice a week. Ideally, the best time to exercise is just before Suhoor mainly because you should be energetic after Iftar as your body would have digested the food by this time.

Any tips for people who choose to work out during the hours of fasting?

HA – Tip 1: Keep the workout at medium intensity, and don’t try to break world records! Simply going to the gym and carrying out low-intensity exercise during the hours of fasting is a good goal in itself.

Tip 2: Try to work out a few hours before Iftar, that way Iftar can be your post-workout meal.

Tip 3: Track your calories and make sure you’re not in a severe caloric deficit

JY – Like Hussain said, exercise for maintenance rather than gains.

Is there a workout duration or goals that are ideal for people who are fasting?

HA – Workouts during Ramadan don’t have to be intense. If you are aiming to maintain your strength levels, then keep up the rest between your sets. If preventing fat gain is your goal then keep the workout short, sharp and at an intensity level that is comfortable with less rest between intervals. Remember that your body is not getting the usual nutrition, so listen to how it is reacting to exercise and adjust your goals accordingly.

JY – I would personally advise that all workouts for those fasting during Ramadan should be kept between 30-60 minutes per session. I recommend exercising at least three times a week and regardless of your fitness goals, I would also advise that the intensity of a work out to be reduced during this period.

Is it ideal to set new fitness goals while working out during Ramadan, especially if you are a beginner?

HA – Setting new fitness goals and habits in Ramadan can be tough but it is encouraged. Having said that, do what you feel is within your reach, don’t aim too high. Set small, measurable and realistic goals for yourself even if that is just walking for 30 mins per day. At the end of Ramadan, when you get back to your normal exercise routine it won’t be as hard on the body and you will be happy you made the effort.

JY – I believe it truly depends on each individual’s goals; however, for those who do already work out, in my opinion, maintenance is a realistic target during Ramadan. It is unlikely to add lean or mass muscle when not eating at regular intervals. For those who are looking to keep fit or are already on a weight loss regime then regular exercise will maintain energy levels and keep the individual on their path to reach their goal.

During Ramadan, GymNation will remain open 24 hours every day with classes starting at 6.30 am and running till late. Ramadan class timetable is available here.

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