Without doubt, exercise is extremely important whether you are following a low carb, Ketogenic lifestyle or not. However, exercise is able to act more efficiently when following a Ketogenic diet. In fact, role of exercise in Ketogenic diet is critical and offers various benefits as mentioned below.

Role and Benefits of Exercise in Ketogenic Diet:

1. Exercise Improves Insulin Sensitivity

In many people, insulin sensitivity decreases with age, along with level of physical activity. People living a sedentary lifestyle are much more likely to have elevated levels of blood glucose. They also record a higher level of insulin secretion over the course of the day, retain excess body fat and may likely pave the way to pre-diabetes.

Exercise, especially weight bearing, anaerobic activity has been shown to improve the efficiency of insulin in response to blood glucose, or amino acid levels, and promote the absorption of nutrients.

When following the Ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are lowered along with muscle glycogen stores. This makes the body more efficient at handling small bursts of glucose ingested or produced via Krebs cycle.

2. Exercise Amplifies Fat Burning

One of the most sought after benefits of low carb diets, but more specifically the Ketogenic diet, is its marked effect on fat metabolism. In the absence of carbohydrates, insulin’s activity is considerably decreased, paving the way for significantly increased levels of Lipolysis.

Under the influence of insulin, fat burning is stalled, in addition to storage of more fat being promoted. At this time your body will be utilizing strictly carbohydrates for energy during exercise.

Do Not Want to Follow a strict Ketogenic diet?

That’s fine.

In fact, there are many variations of the Ketogenic diet that are not as strict, but which still reap many of the benefits associated with it.

For example, exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach places the body in a position to be able to burn fat for energy. This happens as glucose levels are depleted following 8 hours of fasting while sleeping. This is the preferred time many athletes perform cardiovascular exercise, as it amplifies fat metabolism.

3. Exercise Promotes Muscle Gain

Well, this depends largely on the type of exercise you perform. Weight bearing, anaerobic types providing significantly more onus for muscle growth that steady state aerobic varieties.

Also, find some great tips to get the maximum out of your exercise here.

Why is muscle growth important?

Muscle is where the “powerhouse” of our bodies is located. These powerhouses, better known as the mitochondria, is what’s responsible for the literal burning and oxidation of ATP. The more muscle we have, either the more of these power units we have, or the larger they are.

The result?

Greater caloric burn while doing absolutely nothing, including enhanced fat burning. It is also important for you to keep exercising, as the old adage, “use it or lose it” is very much true.

Tweaking Keto to Accommodate Extreme Exercise

There are Keto adaptions for bodybuilders, athletes and others who perform intense exercise where carb intake revolves around exercise.

  • Cyclical Ketogenic DietThis plan is widely used by athletes, bodybuilders, weight lifters and anyone participating in high intensity exercise and features short periods of high carb intake. Typically 5 Keto days followed by 2 high carb intake days.
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet – This plan is also used by bodybuilders, athletes and those who workout regularly to fuel intense workouts and features high load carb intake based around workouts.

Read a detailed guide about the various modified versions of Ketogenic diet.


If you’re trying to extract maximum benefit from the Ketogenic lifestyle, exercise is a mandatory addition. Your health will significantly improve; including glucose and lipid profile, but so will your overall body composition.

If you truly want to look your best, you will not attain it unless you incorporate sessions of both aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (weight bearing) sessions.

Exercise may seem difficult during the first two weeks or so of adapting to the Ketogenic lifestyle, but once your body efficiently begins producing Ketones, fat loss, strength, and muscle gains will ensue.