Keto Health & Nutrition

Do I REALLY Need To Exercise On a Keto Diet… If So What Should I Do?

Exercise plays an integral part of every healthy routine and lifestyle. Regardless of your goal incorporating exercise into your daily routine yields lifelong results.


The keto diet has gained an insane amount of popularity in the recent years, thanks to the many weight loss success stories and popular celebrity endorsements.


As mentioned in my previous articles on a keto diet your body uses fats as a primary source of energy rather than burning carbohydrates. And, since exercise burns fats as well, it’s almost understood that exercise on a keto diet will help you burn fat faster and show you your desired results quicker.


The reason why someone would want to exercise is almost as similar to someone starting the Keto Diet:

  • to lose weight
  • to get fit and stay healthy
  • to look and feel good
  • to build muscles and strength


Determining the right goal can help you focus on achieving that target by molding your diet and nutrition accordingly.


Initial Stages

 The initial stage of Keto or the adaptation stage which usually lasts about a week (however this may vary from person to person) is the toughest. You tend to feel lethargic, dizzy, nauseous, experience cramps and headaches, this condition is known as the Keto Flu. Thankfully, this misery is short lived. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your first week of adaptation is not as worse as it may seem:


Remember, to get into ketosis you need to go through a period of adaptation.


Benefits of Exercise:

If your aim on a keto diet is to simply lose weight then honestly, you do not need to exercise. But an exercise regimen followed along with this diet have shown the following health benefits:


  1. Improved Immunity
  2. Brain Function
  3. Anti-aging Benefits
  4. Improved Bone Mineral Density
  5. Healthy Heart
  6. Improving Diabetic Conditions


Workouts to do


A typical workout regimen consists of a multitude of exercises. It is strongly advised to cut back on the high-intensity workouts during the initial stages of your Keto Diet. Once you notice a considerable increase in your energy levels, slowly begin to incorporate high-intensity workouts into your daily workouts.


A typical workout can include the following exercises which will help you immensely in your Keto journey:


This is a fantastic low-intensity cardio exercise that is bound to help you with staying in shape. There is, however, no way to determine how much of it would you require to get to your required goal, but the best way of measuring this is by the number of calories you will burn during your jog. This is great for a healthy heart and helps you increase stamina.


Yoga is an awesome form of exercise to compliment your Keto Diet which helps boost your results. This is not only a form of exercise that gives you the opportunity to relax and stretch but also helps you reduce weight. The mental connection this form of exercise has with the body is what produces satisfying results. The wonderful thing about this regimen is that it is gentle on your body, people of all ages can practice it without worrying about injury.


Moderate or leisurely cycling has the same impact on your keto diet as jogging does. Being a great low-intensity cardio. This could be made into a fun activity with the kids.

Mountain Biking for about 25 miles is great, however, anything more than that might cause a bit of discomfort. Ramp up your training sensibly and listen to your body, and you should be fine. The adaptation process can be challenging, but once through it, you could see big changes.



Squats, if done correctly help your body in a vast number of ways. They not only help you build leg muscles to support your entire body but also promote muscle gain throughout your frame.


If you’re squatting correctly, you’ll be causing your body to release testosterone and the human growth hormone, both of which are imperative for building muscle and increasing muscle mass, especially when you work out other areas of the body.


These muscles help regulate glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, playing a role in preventing obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.


You don’t even need to squat with heavy weights to achieve these effects – research has shown that deep squats with a lighter weight are more effective at improving bodily strength than are parallel squats with heavy weights.


Squats may not help you burn as much fat as you would on a 5-mile run but are a more effective way of burning fat. Fat burn in cardio exercises are limited to only the time you are performing them, whereas fat burn in squats occurs even after you’ve stopped exercising.


If you ever experience a ‘dead leg’, numbness, tingling or a feeling of coldness in your extremities, it could be caused by poor circulation.


The circulatory system relies heavily on bodily movement to function properly, which is why exercise – including squats – is one of the best preventative or remedial steps you can take to help improve circulation.


A few sets of squats every day will see your heart pounding, your blood pumping and those irritating sensations soon disappear.


Walk like a supermodel with squats! No, really – they’ll improve your posture as you’ll need to learn how to hold proper form when carrying out the movement.


Upper body posture is of the utmost importance – your upper back, lower back, chest, shoulders, and stomach all play a role in successful squatting.


When you become aware of your form during exercise, this awareness will carry through to your day-to-day activities.


Squats don’t require any special equipment, a fancy gym membership or even any workout clothing. All you need to squat is a little space and a knowledge of the correct basic squat technique. (There is a piece of equipment that can help you if you need assistance doing squats)


If you want to try adding weights to your squats you can do that for free too! Cans of food or filled water bottles work as well as dumbbells.




 Pull-ups are one of the most effective upper body exercises for muscle growth and strength. Pull-ups help to prevent or reverse muscular imbalances that can result from too many upper body push movements.


Overdoing push movements, or not focusing enough on your back, can result in injuries or posture problems due to weak and overstretched back muscles. Many people become discouraged when they attempt a pull-up and find that they can’t get lift their bodies more than a few inches, never mind getting high enough to even clear the bar. Keep in mind that the more you weigh the harder they are to do. You will see the benefits of doing pull ups if you keep on doing it.

Pull-ups are a mental exercise as much as a physical one.


A few other benefits of incorporating pull ups into your exercise routine along with following a keto diet are as follows:

  • Strengthen your grip
  • Fat Loss
  • Strengthen your back muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Preparing your body for other exercises
  • Engaging your upper body
  • Balancing Muscles
  • Improving posture



There are at least 6 different variations of crunches that you can perform depending on your comfort level, namely:

  1. Basic Crunches
  2. Reverse Crunch
  3. Vertical Leg Crunches
  4. Long Arm Crunches
  5. Bicycle Crunch
  6. Double Crunches


Crunches chiefly serve to tone, define and strengthen the abdominal — or “core” — muscles. As such, this exercise squarely targets the rectus abdominis — the two parallel muscles that run down the abdomen — and the transverse abdominis, an inner layer of stomach muscles that help stabilize the spine. Crunches also engage the obliques, the muscles that run down the sides of the torso, as synergists. As a core-training exercise, crunches help improve your balance by strengthening your abdominal muscles. Strong core muscles improve your posture, which helps you function efficiently in everyday life and in sporting events. A healthy posture also helps prevent lower back pain and muscle injury.

In addition to toning, performing crunches burns a few calories. For a 160-pound person, 10 minutes of moderate crunches burns 54 calories, while 10 minutes of vigorous crunches burns 98 calories. This number jumps to 65 and 116 calories, respectively, for a 190-pound person. While a half hour of crunches could potentially burn a whopping 300 calories, fitness experts recommend small amounts of crunches – about three sets of 12 — performed at a slow, controlled pace rather than many quickly performed crunches.


The following infographic shows exercises that you can incorporate in your Keto diet routine to show results faster and reap maximum benefits.


Word of Caution

 Always remember to listen to your body, do not overdo it with working out. The Keto diet itself is something that will allow you to lose weight and stay in shape if followed correctly.


Do not at any cost over consume proteins as excess protein will activate a process called gluconeogenesis. This biochemical process turns amino acids into glucose. Some individuals require lower protein levels while others have a higher protein need. Monitor how your body responds to the proteins in your meals if you notice you are coming out of ketosis.

Protein need is dependent on key factors. An individual who participates in intense resistance training to gain muscle will require more protein than the same sized individual who does aerobic or resistance training to lose weight. Similarly, an equal sized person who only walks for exercise will require less protein than the previous two.


Aim for one gram per kg of body weight for starters. Divide your body weight by 2.2 to determine the grams of protein per kg of body weight. Consume this amount of protein on your lighter workout days. Increase the protein to 1.5 grams per kg if you are strength training or attempting to gain muscle.


Ideally, aim for 20-35 grams of protein per meal. Consume protein in 2 to 3 different servings daily with a minimum of 15 grams and no more than 50 grams in a meal.



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