Hey, it’s Health Coach Tara. Today I’m going to talk about exercise in relation to the keto diet. Specifically, do you even need to exercise while on keto?
Most of us think of exercise as a weight-loss tool, as a way to burn calories and rev up our metabolism so we can eat more and weigh less. Since you’re eating a keto diet and losing weight by burning fat for fuel, is exercise still necessary in order to lose weight?
The short answer is no.
Not Necessary For Weight Loss
If your goal is simply to lose weight, then exercise isn’t required for that to happen. But, know that working out on a keto diet can help burn fat stores, balance hormones, and move you into a higher level of blood ketones.
It's A Powerful Tool
Next to what we eat, exercise is the most powerful tool we have for our health, wellness, and physical and mental well-being. Regular exercise is linked to a plethora of benefits. And if you’re thinking “I hate exercise” - exercise doesn’t have to be a terrible experience for you.
Explore Different Options
Instead of exercise that leaves you with zero energy at the end of the workout, spend time exploring different options to connect more with your body and your breath. Do some research on different forms of exercise and try out different options.
We are so fortunate to live in this day and age where free workout videos are available on platforms like YouTube across the world. You may start this exploration by learning to dance with some at-home workout videos that you find on YouTube. Or, maybe you like to line-dance to your favorite country songs - you could even gather some friends together on a video chat and teach each other different line dances. Maybe, you’ve always wanted to have a daily yoga practice.
Other options are barre, pilates, or martial arts. There are many outdoor activities you can try as well such as walking, biking, or kayaking. Exercise is any type of activity where you are moving your body intentionally. Get creative and find something that makes you smile. Comment below with some type of exercise that you want to try. Your ideas may inspire someone else who is struggling to come up with their own.
How Much You Should Exercise On Keto
How much should you exercise on keto? Aim to get your heart rate up for at least 150 minutes per week to enjoy the wellness benefits exercise has to offer. And, most importantly, find something you look forward to doing. Exercise should be challenging but it shouldn’t be something you dread.
For the best results, mix in some strength training. This can be done through yoga, pilates, or other body-weight movements or, if you like to lift weights then traditional strength training is a great option.
Break It Up
This 150 minutes can be broken up however you’d like it to be. You can even do three ten minute sessions of exercise throughout a day. Some studies show that breaking exercise into shorter sessions throughout the day has even more positive impacts on health, wellness, and well-being.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
If you have diabetes or are insulin resistant, know that exercise is one of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity. When wearing a CGM, (continuous glucose monitor), such as the one from Levels that I’ll link to in the description below, you’ll be able to track your blood glucose response to meals. You’ll find that going for a 10-15 minute walk or bike ride after exercise will lower your blood sugar response to a carb-containing meal.
Improve Stamina And Energy
Look at exercise as a way to improve your stamina and energy level throughout the day, a way to balance your hormones to help support a healthy weight, and as a tool to help you build confidence and connection with your body.
To wrap up, while you don’t need to exercise in order to lose weight on a keto diet, exercise is much more than just a weight loss tool. I encourage you to exercise to improve your health, wellness, and well-being.
Until next time, this is Health Coach Tara wishing you the very best of health.