Exercising on Keto... Good or Bad?
I’m new to the Keto Diet and am finding conflicting information on exercising while on the diet. Some advise not to workout to avoid going into an aerobic state as this hampers putting the body into ketosis, while others say its best to include an exercise regimen. Do you workout while on a Keto Diet, and if so, what exercise program do you recommend?
- From everything I have researched, exercise will help your body reach a ketosis state quicker. However, we are not talking marathons. I walk/hike and I feel fine.
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I started with swimming about 6 laps in an Olympic size pool (up and back) 3 times a week in September 2016 and added one lap per week until in February I could swim a mile in about an hour which is 36 laps. I have to make sure I have enough salt in my diet and sometimes I have to stop swimming about 40 minutes into my swim session to use the restroom which was more likely to happen at the beginning stages of building up my endurance. I usually weigh 1 or 2 pounds less after swimming which I’m assuming is water loss. I later added some sessions before hand for about 15-20 minutes using hand weights. On alternate days I walk my dog about 20-30 minutes and do some floor core exercise and stretching. At 62 and having lost 50 lbs this past year on the Keto way of eating, I’m feeling much stronger and more energetic! It helps my cello playing too!
I think it’s a matter of timing and intensity. During the first week of keto adaptation, I was fairly low energy and felt dizzy doing a high intensity workout. It would have been smarter to wait another week or two, but perhaps doing something at a lower heart rate would have been fine.
The way I understand it, during the adaptation period you have reduced the fuel you are used to (carbs) while your body is building up its ability to use the new fuel (ketones) for energy. Until that switch has happened, your workouts won’t feel great.
I definitely support exercise, but as slcp mentioned, it’s partially a matter of what kind of exercise.
At a minimum, walking a fair amount every day is almost always great, and there are very few downsides. I know this might not be what you were asking about in terms of exercise, but for both myself and many others, I see as much or more benefit from increasing the amount we walk as from doing other forms of exercise.
Also, I think it’s always great to do some form of resistance training a couple times per week. It helps to maintain bone density and muscle mass, and is great for your body in myriad other ways.
As for aerobic exercise, I fall on the side of having nothing against it. In general, aerobic exercise is also great – although maybe not as necessary. Still, it has a ton of positive benefits, not the least of which is just making you feel better.
That said, as someone else mentioned, you’re likely not to feel great the first week or 2, so there’s no rush.
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