The ketogenic diet is both a diet and a lifestyle. Most of the time when keto is referred to as a diet, it just means that going keto requires changes in your food consumption. When keto is referred to as a lifestyle, it can either mean one of two things. It’s either something about attitudes towards dieting, or about lifestyles being more holistic than diets. When you think of lifestyles, you would think of ‘routine’ before you would think of ‘quick fix.’ Treating the ketogenic diet as a lifestyle is holistic as well, because while it is possible to improve your diet for your health, you could also improve your physical activity. If you are considering keto or are already on the keto diet, consider yoga as well.
The Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice, where exercise is done to achieve the goal of “samadhi,” or a state where there is union between the individual and the infinite. It aims to bring the individual balance and improve his emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Yoga is a great exercise for your physical and mental health. It can help you improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. Yoga can help improve your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure and help you lose weight. Yoga reduces your anxiety and depression, improves your sleep, and improves mindfulness. In this study, those that practiced yoga believe that yoga improved their happiness, energy, sleep, social relationships, and weight. The more years participants spent practicing yoga, the higher the odds were that they would believe that yoga helped improve their health.
For those trying to lose weight, studies have shown that practicing yoga can help individuals manage obesity and improve their body weight.
Exercises can be composed of breathing exercises, yoga poses, and meditation. Yoga is a great exercise to try on its own. Yoga can also complement other exercises, which can help improve your performance. If you like lifting weights, adding yoga to your schedule will improve your weight lifting.
It is never too late to try yoga. Yoga is one of the exercises that are friendly to people of all levels of fitness, because there are so many poses to try. In a class, an instructor may even teach a single pose with varying levels of difficulty, to accomodate for people’s differences in experience.
Is Yoga Right for You?
Yoga is an exercise that can result in many health benefits. Yoga is generally safe, risk-free, and it can be considered a safe exercise if done under the supervision of a qualified trainer. When done right, yoga is more likely to help than harm you.
Yoga may not be for everyone. Some exercises may be too strenuous for some people. Because all bodies are different, what can benefit someone’s body can harm a different person’s body. To be on the safe side, remember that if you have a health condition it would be best to inform your yoga instructor before class so that the appropriate accommodations may be made for you.
You should first consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting yoga if you are any of the following:
- you have a herniated disk
- you have mobility problems
- neck problems
Yoga and Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat consumption and low in carbohydrate consumption. The goal of keto dieters is to get into ketosis and stay in it. The body usually relies on carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates are turned into glucose molecules, which are used as fuel. When carbohydrates are low, the body starts to look for an alternative source of energy. Fat is used to support the body. The liver produces ketone bodies, which the body uses. Ketosis refers to a state your body gets into when it relies on fat for fuel. When the body runs on carbohydrates, other sources of energy such as fat are not used. On ketosis, fat is being burned for fuel.
The keto diet is generally good for your health. Keto has been found to have anticonvulsant properties, and has been used to treat epilepsy. There are also claims that going keto can help those with autism, depression, hypercholesterolemia, migraines, Parkinson’s disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and type 2 diabetes. Going keto can also help you with weight loss.
Exercise combined with going on the ketogenic diet can be beneficial for your health. When you exercise and do keto at the same time, you burn more fat and feel less fatigued. The first few days of transitioning from zero to keto can be difficult. The side effects that come with keto are often referred to as having the “keto flu,” as the transition period may make you feel sluggish and weak for the first few days.
Side effects you may experience if you go on a ketogenic diet:
- bad breath
- digestive issues, such as constipation and diarrhea
- dry mouth
- experiencing short-term decrease in physical performance
- frequent urination
- increased focus and energy
- increased ketones in the blood, breath, and urine
- insomnia and waking up at night
- reduced hunger or appetite suppression
- short-term fatigue
- weight loss
Combining yoga and keto diet can be beneficial to your health. Doing yoga and keto diet can help you reach your health goals better, because diets and exercises both move you towards improving your health. For those trying to lose weight, yoga can help you lose weight faster. More energy used in exercise means more energy stored in your body is burned. Increasing your physical activity can help you in ketosis.
Trying out both yoga and keto diet can be intimidating at first. What makes yoga compatible with keto is its low entry requirement. If you are still transitioning to a keto lifestyle, choosing an exercise that lets you take it slow can lessen the shock.
The ketogenic diet may not be for everyone. What may benefit someone may not benefit you, as bodies work in different ways. When trying out a lifestyle change, listening to the signs that your body gives you is one way to see if it is right for you.
You should consult your doctor or healthcare provider before starting a ketogenic diet if you are any of the following:
- you take medication for high blood pressure
- you take medication for diabetes