Day 24: Is Exercise Important When In Ketosis?

Is Exercise Important When In Ketosis?

These are the notes from last night’s video in the 28 Day Challenge.  You can join us in the 28 Day Challenge FaceBook Group here, get our FREE 28 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here, and pick up our recipe and instructional books here.

Exercise is a terrible way to lose weight.  That’s a maxim that I think needs to be repeated as often as possible because the “Eat Less, Move More” idea has been so ingrained in us that we just naturally associate weight loss with increased exercise.  But as anyone who has spent hours in the gym every week for years can tell you, exercise doesn’t always correlate to weight loss.


Having said that, we need to make clear that there are several benefits to exercise that contribute directly to your overall health.  Let’s take a look at what those are.


Exercise increases Bone Density


This is important for anyone but especially for women as they approach middle age and beyond.  Your bones are not static but living things that are constantly being broken down with old bone matter being removed by Osteoclasts and new bone being generated through osteoblasts.  Exercise, but especially weight bearing exercise, increases function of the osteoblasts to increase bone density and health.  If you are concerned at all about osteoporosis, the answer isn’t calcium supplements but regular weight bearing exercises.


Exercise Improves Your Immunity


Several studies have shown that people who exercise regularly get sick less often.  The exact mechanism for this isn’t quite clear but here are a few possibilities.


  • Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
  • Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections.
  • The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)
  • Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.

The exact reason why isn’t important, the important thing here is that exercise keeps you healthy.


Exercise improves Your Insulin Sensitivity


Insulin sensitivity is the name of the game when it comes to weight loss.  The less insulin your body has to produce to deal with the food you eat, the faster the weight will come off.  As we exercise, older insulin resistant muscle tissue is replaced with new insulin sensitive tissue to be able to get the needed energy to support your new activity level.  As your insulin resistant tissue is replaced, you begin to use the energy from the food you eat more efficiently which means less of it goes into the long term storage of your fat cells.  When you exercise, your body responds on a molecular level!


Exercise Improves Brain Health


We discussed a last week how exercise combined with a ketogenic diet improves brain health by stimulating the production of BDNF, a hormone that has been proven to stimulate the brain to create new brain cells and improves overall brain function.  New studies have also correlated exercise in older people to lower rates of Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Decline with people being able to remember more and for longer periods of time after just moderate levels of exercise.


Exercise improves Cardiovascular Health


Regular aerobic exercise strengthens the heart causing it to be more efficient with every pump.  As your heart’s pumping capacity increases, it can do more with less and it will last longer.


Exercise increases Life Expectancy


Many studies have been shown that exercise increases life expectancy.  It does this primarily by reducing the risk of many of the diseases that afflict us as we age like Diabetes, cancer, alzheimer’s, Coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.  If you would like to live longer and enjoy your life into old age, make regular exercise part of your routine.


But what exercise should you do and which give you the most benefits?  That’s what we will be discussing tomorrow.

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