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Dr. Ben Connolly

Working out on Keto

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Last week we talked about taking the first steps towards a ketogenic diet, what sort of benefits and obstacles you can expect, and ultimately how to commit to a lifestyle change which is both challenging and rewarding. If you’ve made that leap and are getting into the routine of a keto diet, we’re here to assist with insight driven by experience. At this stage in the process, the fog is lifting from your mind and you’re well on your way to finalizing your body’s adjustment – but you’re dreading the next step: exercise.

It’s not an alien concept to anyone: you’re in the process of making a lifestyle adjustment, you plan the steps and the crucial dates, and you get excited about the prospect of returning to the gym, eating healthier meals, or improving personally. Then, there’s a reason to avoid it. In the case of a keto diet, you’re already making a monumental dietary change that is challenging to both the body and the mind, which compounds the issue.

Two weeks ago we did a deep dive on the medical components of a keto diet, and last week we looked at reasonable expectations. Without missing a beat, let’s look at how you can get the most out of your workouts, while staying on track and maintaining your dietary goals.

First and foremost, we agree that workout routines, eating schedules, and the work that comes with both can be overwhelming to maintain, especially in unison. It’s important to recognize that your primary goal during keto isn’t muscle gain or endurance training, and although your workouts will help you to shed weight and improve your health, your body’s response will be altered and needs to be planned for.

Here are our top four exercise suggestions:

  1. Anaerobic exercise such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts may be harder on the body during a keto diet, but is an excellent way to expedite entering a state of ketosis. HIIT training increases your caloric burn for up to 24 hours and is the most evidence based form of exercise to lose weight.
  2. Aerobic exercise, with longer and lower cardio (think a hike or a long walk) is best for burning fat while exercising.
  3. Stretching exercises like Yoga or Pilates are a great way to keep your joints loose and your muscles soft. Yoga, or basic stretching, is important after doing any type of workout.
  4. Stability exercises, like stand up paddle-boarding or a simple core workout helps to strengthen muscle.

Ideally, aerobic workouts align with a ketogenic diet best. However, there are a number of ways to take on keto and continue your anaerobic workouts. Try eating your allotted 20gr of carbs an hour thirty before your workout, or choose to do a cyclical ketogenic diet, which involves a normal keto diet and low carbs for several days, and shifts into a slightly higher carb diet over a similar period.

In closing, be sure to consult with your doctor about any dietary or health changes you’re posturing to make. Cornerstone is always happy to help with strategy, advice, and the tools you might need in achieving your goals. What matters is doing things the right way, to ensure that results come hand in hand with maintained health.

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