How to Exercise While on Keto

Опубликовал Admin
11-04-2021, 02:00
Exercise may seem like a big question mark if you’ve just started a standard ketogenic diet, where your body uses fat as a fuel source instead of carbs. Thankfully, there are plenty of exercise options for you to consider as you adjust your workout routine. While intense exercise like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is usually out of the question, you do cardio, strength training, and flexibility and balance exercises.

Adding Exercise to Your Routine

  1. Get in around 150 minutes of simple cardio each week. As a general rule of thumb, try to work out for 30 minutes for 5 days of the week, which adds up to 150 minutes of total cardio exercise. You can try a variety of different aerobic exercises, like cycling or swimming, which are great options to consider.
    • When you’re first adjusting to the keto diet, you’ll need to take it easy so your body can adjust. If you’ve been on the keto diet for a while, you can choose workouts that better suit your intensity level.
  2. Perform strength training 2 times each week. Set aside 2 days each week to get a variety of strength-training reps in. Generally, aim to do 12-15 reps with each strength exercise you try. Ideally, focus on a routine that uses lighter weights, which don’t strain your muscles.
    • For instance, if you usually lift 20 lb (9.1 kg), you may want to switch to 10 to 15 lb (4.5 to 6.8 kg) weights instead.
    • Squats and lunges are some of the best exercises to consider as you develop a strength training plan.
  3. Try some flexibility and balance exercises twice a week. Make an effort to experiment with different balance and flexibility exercises, even if they’re simple. If you’re feeling creative, look for fun exercises you can add to your usual routine, like yoga poses, gymnastics, or simple Pilates exercises.
    • For instance, a simple heel-to-toe walking exercise can help you practice balance. In this exercise, you walk with your feet directly in front of one another.
  4. Avoid any high-intensity workouts. Keep in mind that High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of anaerobic exercise—this means that your body will automatically burn carbs/sugar instead of fat, which is what happens when you’re on a keto diet. If you try anaerobic activities, like a HIIT workout, your body won’t have the means and energy source to really support itself.
    • This includes any variation of high-intensity exercise, like Tabata or high-intensity circuit training. Other high-intensity activities, like sprinting and jumping rope, are not great options while you’re on a keto diet.
    • In this case, high-intensity effort will do more harm than good.
  5. Eat enough calories each day. Keep your daily calorie goal in mind, whether it’s 1,200 calories, 1,500 calories, or something else altogether. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet, which tricks your body into feeling fuller than it actually is. Monitor your meals and snacks each day to make sure you’re eating the right amount of fat, so you have enough energy to finish your workouts.
  6. Expect to feel icky when you first start your diet. As your body enters a state of ketosis, you may notice “Keto flu” symptoms, like nausea and low energy levels, which are a common, unfortunate side effect of the keto diet. Don’t be alarmed if you start feeling a little under the weather. Instead, take it easy as you work through the symptoms and adjust to ketosis.
    • If you’re feeling off your game, avoid any exercise that requires you to think and act quickly, like biking on a busy road.

Choosing Suitable Exercises

  1. Try out an easy yoga or Pilates routine if you just started a keto diet. Search online for a beginner’s yoga course or a simple Pilates routine that doesn’t require a lot of strenuous activity. Try a few easy yoga moves, like the mountain pose, downward-facing dog, tree pose, or the side plank.
    • You can find a variety of short, low-intensity exercises and Pilates workouts on YouTube that are geared towards beginners.
    • It’s okay if your activity level is a bit lower than it usually is, especially if you’re dealing with some icky symptoms, like fatigue. Don’t force yourself to do any tough workouts!
  2. Go for a light walk for a lower-intensity workout. Get in some low-intensity cardio by walking around your neighborhood or going for an easy hike through your local park. Stick with a simple, easy walking pace that keeps you moving without wearing you down.
    • If you start feeling worn out, consider slowing down your walking pace. The whole point of your workout is to find a comfortable pace for yourself!
    • You can also walk in place if you’re stuck at home.
  3. Perform different strength exercises for an easy workout. Set aside time throughout the week to do some resistance training without exhausting yourself. Try out strength exercises, like pull-ups, push-ups, bench press, or whatever exercise you prefer. If necessary, choose weights that are a little lighter than what you usually do, so you can focus on getting more reps in.
    • For instance, you can do three, 15 rep sets of a deadlift at a lighter weight than your usual lift.
    • You can do strength training every day for a more endurance-focused workout plan.
    • Squats, deadlifts, and core training are all great options.
  4. Bike around your neighborhood or a local park. Take your bike out for a spin once you’ve transitioned into ketosis. Along with your keto diet, biking can help you potentially burn more fat and improve your body composition.
    • Only go for a bike ride if you’re no longer experiencing any keto flu symptoms, like brain fog, which occur as you enter ketosis.
  5. Go for a run once you’ve adjusted to the diet. Switch up your routine and run through your neighborhood and local park, as opposed to just walking. Similar to other cardio exercises, like biking, running may have fat-burning benefits as long as you’re practicing a steady keto diet.
  6. Go for a swim to give yourself a full-body workout. Jump in the pool and swim around for a few laps. Don’t worry about speed or intensity—instead, focus on swimming for a set distance. As you build more endurance, you can build up your workout from there.
    • For instance, you can start by swimming ⁄2 mi (0.80 km), then slowly increase your total distance.


  • Always drink plenty of water—keto dieting causes you to lose a lot of water.
  • It’s best to eat a light snack before you exercise, then eat more once you’re done. Keep in mind that if you aren’t used to eating fattier foods, your stomach may feel a little iffy at first.


  • Pay attention to your body while you exercise. If you keep feeling light-headed, tired, or dizzy, you may need to reconsider your diet plans.
  • Don’t try a new workout when you first start the keto diet. As you enter ketosis, you aren’t going to be feeling super great.
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