Most people begin a ketogenic diet for weight loss and to improve their health. Along with changing the diet habits, another important step can be to add some cardio to your keto diet plan. But how valuable is cardio to weight loss? Does it have as much effect when combined with a ketogenic diet?
What is the true value of cardiovascular exercise?
Adults as rule are much more sedentary today than we used to be 100 years ago. Many of us work with computers or in offices that don’t require a lot of physical output.
If you have a sedentary job, you might notice that you body feels very low energy at the end of the day. You can even experience have tight muscles, an aching back, or feel exhausted even though you haven’t done anything physical.
In contrast, think about how you felt last time you had a good workout: your muscles are alive, you body is more flexible, the blood is pumping and providing oxygen and energy. It’s likely you feel energized, confident and even proud of yourself for taking the time to exercise.
This is why cardio exercise can be a great solution.
According to Very Well Fit, here are some of the key benefits of a cardio program:
- Weight loss
- Stronger heart and lungs
- Increased bone density especially in older age
- Reduced stress
- Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
- Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
- More confidence about how you feel and how you look
- Better sleep
How a Keto Diet affects Cardio
In the early stages of the keto diet, there can be a tendency to feel less energy and stamina. It can dampen your enthusiasm for exercise, especially cardio, which is usually fueled by carbs.
If you already have a regular exercise program in place, then you may have to go easier on yourself during the first few weeks or month. But over time as your body becomes more fat adapted, you may find that your stamina increases.
The key here is to exercise not only for weight loss but for the other benefits: the enjoyment, the cardiovascular health, the mental health, less stress, better sleep, etc.
Cardio can cause water retention so you have to trust the process, know you’re eating with a plan in mind, and be patient.
Keep in mind as well, that cardio isn’t as effective for weight loss as many people think because it doesn’t burn as many calories they think and it’s easy to eat them back.
When you combine exercise with ketogenic diet, the results can be impressive. You are creating two new habits at once, and you are also increasing your chances for greater longevity.
But take it easy in the earlier stages and be aware that the true benefits of exercise may actually be the health and lifestyle improvements, rather than just weight loss.