Hartpury professor sheds light on exercise during Ramadan in conference keynote

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Professor Monèm Jemni, Sport and Exercise Research Centre Lead at Hartpury University, has received praise from organisers and delegates after his keynote speech at the South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF) and DaR’s 6th Global Annual Ramadan Conference in Birmingham. The keynote, titled ‘Exercise during Ramadan: the when, who & what’, explore the hugely important topic of sport and exercise during periods of fasting - not only for healthy people and high-level athletes, but also those living with health conditions.

Fasting and caloric restriction enhances autophagy - the process to help destroy unwanted cells and to regenerate newer healthier ones. Professor Jemni outlined lifestyle disruption during Ramadan, the effect of fasting on physiological variables and physical performance, and also provided considerations and strategies to exercise and stay active in Ramadan – which this year takes place between 1 April – 1 May 2022.

Professor Jemni delivered the speech alongside Professor Jason Gill from Glasgow University to an audience of medical consultants and GPs. The conference also covered a variety of topics including diabetic care, pregnancy, Covid-19, exercise, and cardiovascular health during Ramadan.

In a letter thanking Professor Jemni, representatives from the South Asian Health Foundation said: “On behalf of South Asian Health Foundation and Diabetes & Ramadan International Alliance, we want to express our sincere appreciation to Professor Jemni for being part of our program faculty and making the conference a success. The presentation on ‘Exercise and Ramadan’ was fantastic and we really appreciated how eloquently he shared this valuable information.”

For 23 years, the SAHF has provided an authoritative voice to UK Diabetes and advise on topics around cardiovascular health.

Professor Jemni, a member of SAHF since 2011, was previously commissioned by the organisation to update the future UK strategies in physical activities, a piece of work that ultimately triggered new policies in physical activity advice in primary care and helped to promote physical activity for children and young people. Similarly, Professor Jemni also wrote a parliamentary report on behalf of the SAHF looking at ways to urgently tackle the declining levels of physical activity and make direct, policy-based recommendations to tackle the crisis in the UK.  The report was collated by the British Heart Foundation and handed directly to Prime Minister David Cameron in March 2014. As a result of this report, recommendations for new legislation and policies were made. These included the provision of evidence relating to the impacts of physical activity, as well as identifying lessons to be learned from best practices around the UK and across the globe in relation to increasing levels of physical activity.

Professor Jemni has been approached by members of The Barnwood Trust to discuss ways to establish research, consultancies and services to help the local communities and the different faiths represented in Gloucestershire. He is also celebrating the publication of a book chapter within Artistic Gymnastic testing, part of The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Guide (Sport and Exercise Physiology Testing Guidelines: Volume I - Sport Testing), that went on sale at the end of March.

Students at Hartpury University benefit from Professor Jemni’s world-leading expertise, particularly in modules covering Exercise Physiology for Health and Performance, and Sport and Exercise Science. Hartpury University offers a range of university sports degrees and postgraduate programmes that prepare graduates to make a real difference across the sports and land-based sectors.

Both staff and students alike are helping to improve people’s lives through research across a host of topics; from high-performance athletes, to school sport and community health.

A new MRes Sport and Exercise Science, launching in September 2022, will provide students with opportunities to undertake a piece of research in a specific area to enhance their professional practice or prepare for PhD study. The Sports Business Hub enables students to connect with real businesses and work on live briefs for additional industry experience. Hartpury University was ranked number one in the UK for student satisfaction by full-time postgraduate students in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021.

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