The Best Exercises on Keto

The Best Exercises On Keto

Ok, so you are on this great journey and you are changing your lifestyle to lose weight and get healthy. You’re getting this keto thing down and want to start shaping up! “But what do I do and how do I start?”, you ask.

It’s pretty simple and it doesn’t take a lot of time. Just three 60 minute sessions per week. That’s only 3 hours out of the 168 hours you have in a week! That’s it! 


Contrary to popular belief, extended cardio is not your friend. I could go into a long explanation of the science, but the long and short of it is that extended cardio will hurt you more than help you and there are more efficient ways to burn fat and tone your body in much less time. And if you are heavy like I was, at 317 lbs I couldn’t even dream of walking a mile at a brisk pace let alone jogging or running. I would have needed knee and hip replacement surgery for sure!

Your best exercises on Keto are:

  1. Walking
  2. Lifting
  3. HIIT training on Bycycle or Rowing Machine
  4. Yoga & Stretching

Walking burns fat. Running burns your muscle glycogen. When on keto, you are not consuming enough carbs to replace muscle glycogen. This will cause your body will release cortisol to break down your muscle to replenish the lost muscle glycogen. We do NOT want to lose muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. Walking is also easy on the joints, can be refreshing to the spirit and benefit your mental health by reducing stress. I recommend 3 hours a week to start, then work your way up to 6 hours. So, walk, don’t run. Get out and enjoy nature!

Proper weight training does not take a lot of time and provides something called after burn. After burn is this amazing phenomena that keeps your body burning extra calories for up to 36 hours after your workout! So even though you completed your workout in 45 minutes in the gym, your body is going to be in super charged mode for up to another day in a half: while you are working, sleeping, eating, taking a shower or day dreaming. That’s just one of the benefits! The others are:

You raise your metabolism. You will gain muscle without bulking. Yes, ladies, that’s right, you will not turn into Arnold, you will tone! AND muscle burns 10 calories per pound per day, while fat only burns 2 calories per pound per day.

Your body is more toned. Fat takes up more volume per pound than muscle does. A pound of muscle takes up 20% less volume than fat does. That’s why sometimes you have two people who weight the same, but the one who has more muscle is wearing a smaller size.

You become stronger, and everyday tasks become easier.

Reduces the risk of Osteoporosis. Weight training strengthens your bones, tendons and ligaments. Your posture will improve.

I firmly believe that performing compound lifts like deadlifts, squats, shoulder presses, rows and dips with free weights are far superior to lifting with machines. Free weights and compound lifts work multiple muscle groups and force your body to counter balance which engages opposite muscle groups and your core. Machines force your body to work in unnatural ways and are designed to specifically work one muscle at a time. This can lead to an over development of one muscle without the balancing muscle being strong enough to support it leading to injury. It is very important to find the right workout and learn proper lifting techniques when lifting to avoid injury.

HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. There are tons of videos circulating on the web about HIIT workouts. I want you to ignore them all. Your best HIIT workout is going to come from riding a bicycle (stationary or mobile) or using a rowing machine. Your workout should not be more than 20 minutes long, and your time spent in the strenuous zone is ONLY 3.5 MINUTES! This type of workout will destroy fat, and there is very little risk of injury -unless you fall off your bike – here’s a band-aid just in case.


It gets maximum results in minimal time. You only need to do three 20 minute sessions a week. No more. Period. Increasing the time or frequency will not give you better results.

You’ll lose body fat while retaining your muscle mass. Unlike running, which is high intensity and long duration, this type of HIIT workout allows your muscles to recover in-between those 30 second burst of giving it your all. It becomes protein sparing and does not cause a rise in cortisol levels. Win-win!

It strengthens your heart and lungs and overall endurance.

Medically: It raises your good cholesterol (HDL), lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL), lowers your triglyceride levels, reduces risk for metabolic syndrome and reduces risk for cardiovascular disease. Wow! All that from just 60 minutes a week!


First you need to know something about heart rates, your maximum heart rate and your target heart rate for this exercise.

To calculate your maximum heart rate use this equation: 220 – your age in years = maximum heart rate

Example: If you are 40 years old. 220 – 40 = 180

For the above example, 180 beats per minute is the MAXIMUM your heart should ever beat per minute when exercising.

We are not going that high.

Your warm up should be 60% of your maximum heart rate. For the above example that would be 108 beats per minute. (180 x 0.60 = 108)

Your high intensity intervals should be at 85% of your maximum heart rate. 
For the above example that would be 153 beats per minute. (180 x 0.85 = 153)

  1. Start out biking or rowing at a comfortable pace for 2 minutes. Target Heart Rate = 60% of your Maximum Heart Rate
  2. Increase your intensity to giving it your all for 30 seconds. You should not be able to carry out a conversation. Target Heart Rate = 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate
  3. Go back to your original pace for 2 minutes to where your Target Heart Rate is 60% of your Maximum Heart Rate.
  4. Repeat until 20 minutes are up. But make sure that you end your workout the same way you started, with a Target Heart Rate of 60% of your Maximum Heart Rate. And if you watched your time, you will have 2 and a half minutes for your cool down.

Yoga and or stretching are perfectly set up for integration into your keto way of life. There is low risk of injury and holding yoga poses and static stretches (stretches that you hold for at least 20 seconds) actually strengthens your muscles! Other benefits:

  • Improves flexibility and balance.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Helps with better and deeper sleep. 
  • Reduces inflammation in the body.
  • Burns Fat.

You only need do two 1 hour sessions of yoga a week to see the benefits. There is even chair yoga for those just starting out.

Whichever of these 4 exercises you choose, make sure to check with your physician before you start, and it’s always advisable to work with a personal trainer or join a class where you can learn proper technique from a qualified instructor.

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