Monday, July 21, 2014

Ramadan 2014 – Day 22, the Struggles with Exercise

Ramadan really shifts your entire schedule around. Since you’re fasting all day, including not drinking any water, exercising during the day just isn’t recommended. Many do though in the hour or so leading up to iftar, I've seen people jogging along the Corniche, and in the new park in Al Bidda I've driven by and seen 10-20 guys playing pick-up soccer games. I’m not sure how they managed to do that after fasting all day, even after I have an afternoon nap I'm pretty beat and have little energy.

So iftar starts around 6:30pm, then I eat and I’m a bit full so I don't feel like exercising. For Muslims they still have the tarawih prayers to go to and those won't end until sometime after 9pm. Usually I'm going out for a walk around 7:30-8:30 but a lot of people start hitting the gym after 10pm. I remember last year meeting people at the gym or at the squash court after 11pm. Then you’re in bed by 1am or 2am having to wake up at 6 or so to go to work, which means you need a big nap in the afternoon, and the cycle continues.

Compounding this is that it is summer. I really don't like treadmills as I find them boring and much preferred to walk around outside. Unfortunately the heat can be crazy! It depends a lot on the humidity, if it is a dry day than it cools down a little bit in the evening, still in the mid-30s but bearable. If it's a humid day though than going outside is just a hassle. Here's a couple of photos of store fronts from when I mistakenly went to the Pearl one evening for a walk in what turned out to be a humid day. At the time these were taken it was 37°.

After walking about 200 m I felt like someone had thrown a bucket of water on me, you’re just dripping with sweat and condensation, and your clothes are damp and muggy. Blah!

That leaves mall walking as the main option for humid evenings. That too can get a bit repetitive, in my opinion there's only a couple of malls big enough for a decent walk (Villagio and City Centre) but fighting the traffic and the parking to get to these malls can be a journey in itself. Needless to say on humid evenings everyone likes to go to the mall.

Oh well, one week to go. It's pretty dry out today so I think I will walk to Souq Waqif.

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