Yes! You can do a fasting program and still exercise!
There are different schools of thought with respect to fasting. On one extreme is pure water fasting, such as practiced at Goryachinsk on Lake Baikal in Siberia. In this program, exercise is not compulsory.
Otto Buchinger, on the other hand, created his fasting program 100 years ago with the thought of providing patients a small calorie intake but augmenting with daily walks as exercise. The idea behind providing of limited food (250 calories per day) with exercise is to make fasting more accessible, with fewer side effects. Daily walks in the forest (or Wanderung as they refer to them here) are every day, rain or shine. With a little bit of nutrition, people do have the energy to exercise!
The clinic is currently managed by the fourth generation of the family, and Otto Buchinger’s descendants have since further updated the program to augment the daily walks with an indoor fitness center. It’s a pretty sophisticated facility with great views of Lake Constance.
I just wish the fitness center opened earlier in the morning! The walks in the summer start at 6am, and the fitness center would have been a great alternative to walking in the rain!
For me, this month of fasting resulted in a personal record on my Garmin step counter, with over 600K steps in May, 2019. It also capped a personal record of over 5M steps in the trailing 12 months! In the month of May for me, 25 of those days were fasting!
Note that the daily walks are typically only about 4 miles for “Group A” (the fastest group of three), so you don’t have to break any records to participate! That said, after the morning walks, we just enjoyed walking around the lake and on the trails around the town, too! It’s really beautiful in this part of Germany when it’s not raining!
We were also able to squeeze in a 10K (the Volksbank Überlingen Lauf) in town. It certainly was not my fastest 10K ever (actually my slowest race), but I was able to complete it with a sub-10 minute per mile pace — even after 12 days of fasting!
So don’t be afraid to fast! You will have a lot of energy!
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