Global charity challenge aims to keep Muslims active during Ramadan

British runner encourages people not to neglect fitness during the holy month

The British man behind a global Ramadan fundraising challenge encourages Muslims to keep active while fasting.

Haroon Mota, from Coventry in England, is running most days an hour before sunset to raise money for the Penny Appeal.

Mr Mota, 35, who ran 260 kilometres and raised £52,000 ($72,115) during Ramadan last year, is head of challenge events at the charity.

The organisation’s Ramadan Challenge 3.0 aims to raise funds to help people in poverty around the world.

It is hoped £100,000 can be raised this year, with more than £7,000 already raised from people around the world, including the UAE.

“We're encouraging people to use the 30 days of Ramadan for self-improvement by staying healthy, being active,” he told The National.

“I want to inspire people to challenge stereotypes.”

He said Ramadan was sometimes viewed as a time to “stop our hobbies and stop exercise”.

Haroon Mota is encouraging Muslims to stay active during Ramadan. Courtesy@ZeynLambat
Haroon Mota is encouraging Muslims to stay active during Ramadan. Courtesy@ZeynLambat

“However, as long as the rituals are fulfilled, there's no reason why we shouldn't carry on with things that we enjoy or doing the things that keep us healthy and active,” Mr Mota said.

“Exercise is really important … physical inactivity costs millions to the National Health Service here and I’m sure other places in the world as well.”

Mr Mota said the most challenging aspect of exercising while fasting was “just getting out the door”.

“Whether fasting or not, it's good to get out,” he said.

“For a little light walk, that's what the challenge is about, it's a chance to have fun, get out the door and stay positive.”

To participate or donate to the challenge, visit pennyappeal.enthuse.com.

Haroon Mota’s five tips for exercise during Ramadan

1. Be sensible and listen to your body If you don’t exercise regularly, take it easy

2. Don’t worry about losing stamina Focus on other areas such as core strength and flexibility

3. Focus on what you need after fasting Pay attention to staying hydrated

4. Eat healthy balanced meals at iftar Don’t neglect important nutrients

5. Rest Get enough sleep to stay energised and refreshed

Updated: April 23, 2021 02:55 PM

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