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Can I exercise right from Step 1? Yes, but...

So you have decided to lose weight with one of our diet plans and to also start exercising regularly. Does a regular physical activity feel a bit alien to you? Not sure which activity to go for? Let us help you decide!

Shall I head off to the gym or put on my trainers and go for a run instead? You might be scratching your head over which sport to take up to boost your slimming efforts at Step 1. We have put together a few tips to help you choose the right activity for you.

 

Sport and a keto diet? Do they actually go together?

Let’s start with a bit of theory. As you may already know, the principle of ketosis is a shift in the body’s metabolism that occurs a few days (2 - 4) after starting the diet. This means that the body will start using fats as its primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates that fuelled the body before the diet.

It is this drop in carbohydrate levels, together with the intensity of the physical activity, that are the key factors in deciding which exercise to take up. This is because high-intensity training without enough oxygen for the working muscles, such as a gym workout or sprints, requires a quick source of energy and it is the carbohydrates that deliver it. As the carbohydrate levels are reduced to a minimum at Step 1, we do not recommend any high-intensity activity. To start a diet regime and take up a vigorous exercise that your body is not used to, all at the same time, would be a mistake. However, if you have been doing some form of light physical activity, you can by all means continue even during Step 1.

 

Which exercise to go for?

It’s quite simple – choose an activity that you will enjoy. In general, we advise you to go for some form of aerobic exercise. This involves a low-intensity workout performed over a longer period of time during which the working muscles require a supply of oxygen. Do you still manage to talk or breathe through your nose? Is your heart rate slightly increased and are you sweating? Then this is exactly what we are talking about – aerobic exercise.

A regular aerobic activity has many health benefits:

  • It will help you breathe better, which will benefit not just your heart and lungs but it will boost the cardiovascular system as a whole.
  • It will protect you from developing lifestyle diseases.
  • It will help you clear your head after a bad day at work.
  • It will lift your mood and promote your well-being through the release of “feel-good” hormones, such as endorphins and the dopamine.

 

4 tips on aerobic exercise

1. Walking

Walking is an aerobic physical activity that has one great advantage over other forms of exercise – it’s the most natural movement that almost anyone can do and it can be practised anytime, anywhere and in all weathers. When walking, our heart rate becomes regular and our breathing can even have a positive impact on our well-being. Combine health with fun and get your family on board too. Why not plan some walking trips? Your dog will also love his daily hour-long walks.

2. Nordic walking

Nordic walking has all the advantages of normal walking while it also has some additional benefits. You will need a pair of poles that have been specially designed for this exercise. Thanks to these poles, you will engage not just your leg muscles, but also other large muscle groups, such as those in your arms, back, chest and partially in the abdomen. If you decide to give Nordic walking a go and set off on a long hike in the mountains, don’t forget to slip our protein bars in your pocket. They are an ideal snack.

Swimming3. Swimming

Another good form of exercise is swimming that provides an overall workout for the body, strengthening and stretching it at the same time. Moreover, it’s easy on the joints which makes it a suitable activity even for people who are overweight. With indoor swimming pools in almost every town, you can dive in anytime and in all weathers. Swimming has some technical limitations though. If you do breaststroke, the most common and least difficult style, you might find the head tilt and breathing challenging. It is therefore important to focus on the correct technique and slowly learn how to breathe.

4. Yoga

To add some variety to your fitness regime, you might also try some relaxation activities such as yoga. Yoga will keep your body supple, help you maintain your mental and physical fitness and will nourish you with positive energy. The relaxation techniques will teach you how to control and relax your whole body and how to use your mind to rest. The exercise induces pleasant feelings.

 

No matter which physical activity you choose, remember that it is important to practise it regularly, at least three times a week. Pick an exercise that you will enjoy and look forward to. Not feeling like going for a swim right now? Go for a walk in the park. Has yesterday’s workout left you feeling tired with sore muscles? Head to a yoga class to stretch your body instead. If you approach it in this way, you will never even think of skipping your exercise and the results will show soon. Never try to force yourself into exercising and should you feel faint or unwell during the first stage, leave the exercise until the next step.

 

Author: Jiří Skála

Photos: Unsplash

 

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