Why Exercise?

Many people think the reason to exercise is to burn off that apple pie you had at dinner (not that ketonians would be eating apple pie).  But there are really much better reasons to exercise.  Let’s say an average slice of apple pie is 300 calories.  An average 180-pound man would need spend about an hour to walk about 3 miles to burn off that pie.  While you can burn off that apple pie, it isn’t possible to exercise your way out of a bad diet.

So why does everyone say exercise is so important?  Well there are lots of very good reasons to exercise.  First exercise increases your metabolism.  That means that not only do you burn calories while you are on your walk, you will also burn more calories when sitting on the couch watching television than if you hadn’t exercised.  An increased metabolism will also make you feel like you have more energy, which may make you feel like moving more.  Which, in turn, will increase your metabolism even more.  If you move constantly, your body will work to make sure you have energy at the ready.  Exercise can also build muscle which will result in burning more energy.

Exercise also increases your insulin sensitivity by burning off your glycogen stores.  Glycogen is how your body stockpiles glucose in your muscle tissue and your liver. When those stores are depleted your body will need to replenish the glycogen using glucose from your bloodstream. This lowers your blood sugar and increases your insulin sensitivity.  And if you are metabolically deranged, like I am, you need all the help you can get in increasing your insulin sensitivity.

Another benefit of exercise is lower blood pressure.  This happens because exercise strengthens your heart which allows it to pump more efficiently. This is especially relevant because in November the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology has lowered the target pressure for people.

While it is possible to lose weight and improve your health using a ketogenic diet without exercise, the addition of exercise will make your keto work even better.  This is why I decided to start adding deliberate exercise in the beginning of December.  So when you are ready, I encourage you to consider looking at adding exercise to your own routine.

This will be my last blog post for the year, but I’ll be back in January with more keto goodness discussing my keto Christmas.  Until then you can ready my last blog post about metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.  Have a happy holiday season and keep calm and keto on.


  1. JD, great points about the virtuous circle of adding exercise to a keto life style. One important part of our metabolisms, the mitochondria in every cell, are our fat furnaces. Only place where aerobic metabolism/fat burning happens. These little guys love exercise and respond by stepping up the pace and our metabolism. So it's good to take your mitochondria for a walk once in a while, they will thank us for it forever. P.S. I love this blog. Well done my friend. KCKO

    1. Thanks for the comment. Good point about the mitochondria. I'm also glad you like the blog. It's my way of trying to give back. KCKO!


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