5 Best Types of Exercises If You’re on the Ketogenic Diet

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Swimmer in clear, blue water

Avoiding foods with high carbohydrate amounts is the goal of the keto diet. This action forces the body to eventually use stored fat reserves as fuel, which results in weight loss.

To achieve optimal results, you should pair this diet with an adequate amount of exercise. Energy levels can get disrupted when a big diet shift occurs. Exercising while your body’s adjusting to the keto way of eating helps you avoid this drawback.

Which fitness routines are best for keto diet practitioners? Ones that force the body to burn fat without expending too much energy (which usually requires the consumption of sugar for long-term peak performance). The best exercises for keto are swimming, running, yoga, core training, and weight lifting.


Exhaustion happens faster on the keto diet. That’s because your body exhausts all your glucose fuel and turns to body fats as a source of energy. Since your muscles aren’t initially accustomed to fats as a fuel source, hunger and tiredness happen even during short exercises.

Swimming helps you overcome the challenges of starting the keto diet. Water exercises expend less energy over a longer period of time, extending your endurance and intensity. A 30-minute swim burns the same amount of fat as an hour-long jog. Because water carries your weight, you won’t quickly feel tired.

Swimming also exercises your entire body, not just certain isolated sections. It may not feel like you’re doing much exercise when you swim, but even the simple act of floating activates most of your muscles.


Cardio is fantastic for the keto diet. It doesn’t place a high demand for sugar fuel, which keto diet practitioners have little supply of in their keto diet plan. Instead, the body burns whatever fuel the body has to offer—which is fat. Cardio keeps your heart rate up and extends your endurance. Running, for example, is a great exercise because its moderate intensity is suitable for the keto diet. It’s also a quick ketosis trigger.

Ketosis is the body’s process of using fat instead of carbs as fuel for your exercises and usually happens a few days into a keto diet. How do you know if you’re in ketosis? A good indication is your exercise time. If you’re discovering that you can exercise for a long time, it’s a sign that ketosis is active and your body is using excess fat as fuel.

That’s why running is one of the best exercises when you’re following the keto diet. Once ketosis activates, you’ll run longer and farther. Helping you burn more fat over a period of time.


During the keto diet, your fat reserves become fuel—including the ones in your muscle linings. This allows your muscles to move in a different range. Flexibility exercises such as yoga can help them cope with the diet change.

Yoga routines help prevent muscle injuries. Oftentimes, the keto diet shortens muscles after a short workout session. The lack of sugar in your diet also slows recovery from muscle tears and tiny fractures. Stretching your muscles after exercising minimizes this risk.

Doing yoga also extends your muscle reach and provides a great deal of flexibility by helping your supporting joints (shoulders and waist).

Core Training

Core training (“ab exercises”) strengthens your muscles enough to perform other intense workouts. While core exercises don’t burn belly fat more than other exercises, they help make your belly appear flat and toned, plus assist with body stabilization. Stabilization is important because it helps you control your body, lessening your chances of encountering injuries.

These are the best core exercises to perform because they work on different areas of the abs (scientifically called the rectus abdominus muscle):

  • Crunches
  • Russian Twist
  • Side Plank
  • Bicycle
  • Leg Raise
  • Plank

Weight Lifting

While dieters mainly use keto for weight loss, other folks choose a ketogenic lifestyle to improve muscle mass. Because of this, many people lift weights while following the keto diet.

Weight lifting is a great exercise for a ketogenic diet because you don’t need to sustain an intensive workout regime to develop muscles. Short, high-intensity workouts are perfect for keto. Doing this is simple: increase the number of sets, while reducing reps per set. You reduce the number of seconds spent lifting your weights per set.

This slower-paced workout regime is compatible with keto. Quicker sets require glucose, but slower sets are compatible with fat fuel. Alternatively, you can use CKD and TKD (carb-loading and targeted keto) techniques to have energy for weight lifting performance.

You don’t need to abandon exercising while you follow the keto diet. These workouts complement the keto way of eating and help you burn fat faster while establishing a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to use our keto food search engine to find keto-friendly foods and recipes.

KetoFoodist Content

KetoFoodist.com provides this content to help keto diet practitioners and is intended for educational purposes only. It is recommended that you consult with a medical professional prior to starting any diet or following product suggestions.