We at Konscious Keto, know how it feels; boundless energy, check. Plowing through creative or challenging tasks with ease, check. Noticing your clothes feeling a tad lose on you, check.
It's probably safe to say that you’re now fat-adapted and enjoying some of the most coveted benefits of sugar-free living on a ketogenic diet.
An elevated and balanced mood is a hallmark of the metabolic state of ketosis triggered when eating a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet, and you may be living proof.
However, adding physical activity—especially if it adds a substantial spiritual component—is a fantastic way to take the tremendous benefits of a ketogenic diet to the next level.
How Yoga Compliments a Keto Diet
Clean eating, intentioned breathing (pranayamas) and body postures and practices (asanas), along with periods dedicated to meditation, sound like the making of a seamless melding of the ketogenic diet and the ancient Indian mind-body practice of yoga.
Those who incorporate yoga into their wellness regimen likely adhere to the healthy holistic mindset that leads to taking extra care to support the health of every area of life.
Whether mastering the 26 postures in a studio, peaking at temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit with Bikram yoga or seeking to soar to new spiritual heights with Kundalini yoga, the varying forms of the centuries-old practice offer multiple health benefits to both body and mind.
A ketogenic diet is an eating style that offers a slew of health benefits on its own, but there are some distinct benefits offered when coupled with yoga—we'll take some time to unpack the details of this dynamic duo below.
While yoga can improve coordination, balance, and flexibility, there are additional benefits offered by yoga that mimic those experienced by many followers of a ketogenic diet.
Here are some of the fantastic overlapping benefits which compound when yoga and a ketogenic diet are paired:
Keto and Yoga Can Reduce Stress
A ketogenic diet regulates blood sugar, and the absence of glucose spikes helps contribute to a more consistently balanced mood.
Furthermore, using yoga as your primary form of exercise and relaxation is associated with reducing stress levels and elevating feelings of zen.
Also, a daily dose of downward dog is known to lower levels of anxiety and boost mood to combat bouts of depression.
Beyond reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, studies of breast cancer patients who committed to a regular yoga practice reported it to be a useful stress-management tool, as well.
Furthermore, yoga is proven effective in reducing both trait and state anxiety—something especially helpful for women and those looking to suppress or eliminate the suffering and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Keto and Yoga Can Improve Sleep
Quality sleep is so important, yet often undervalued in our fast-paced society. We value the non-stop intensity of modern life and often indulge and over-do life, to the sacrifice of experiencing deep and restorative sleep.
The collective, mind-body benefits of yoga also help us handle the daily stresses and challenges of life—so even if life doesn't get easier, our ability to navigate life improves to meet its challenges.
Interestingly, a US study conducted on 39 cancer patients with lymphoma and followed Tibetan yoga sessions, experienced fewer sleep interruptions and reported more profound levels of restfulness than the observed control group that abstained from yoga.
Furthermore, an extensive, randomized, controlled study of 410 cancer survivors noted improvements in the participants' sleep quality, thanks to engaging in the daily practice of yoga.
Keto and Yoga Can Reduce Inflammation
Removing sugar and carbs from our diet is an excellent approach to drastically lowering inflammation levels in the body. The absence of constant glucose spikes throughout the day produces a homeostatic state by default, helping keep all systems balanced.
Inflammation is at the core of virtually every form of disease. Along with whatever adverse side effects may be associated with a given disorder, inflammation is often associated with the increased experience of physical pain and soreness in the body.
Like the pain-relieving effects of yoga, a ketogenic diet is known to tamp down inflammation and create a balanced state in the body which also helps to reduce soreness and chronic joint pain.
Also, a randomized study was conducted observing more than 300 participants with chronic back pain which found a significant improvement, even citing improved back function, with the implementation of a continued and regular yoga practice.
Besides, yoga is accessible to all as it is an adaptive practice and can be adjusted to meet a practitioners' level of ability.
Modified versions of yoga like 'chair yoga' are even created to accommodate those with problems standing—the case for many suffering from inflammation-fueled disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Keto and Yoga Can Improve Heart Health
Engaging in controlled breathing and holding an extended tree pose can create Instagram-worthy moments, and we get the importance of an engaging post feed. More importantly, eating a ketogenic diet can have profound benefits on heart health.
Yoga is an excellent means of coronary disease prevention, helping to pump fresh oxygen and life-sustaining blood through the body. Doing yoga is an excellent way to meet the recommended activity targets set by regulatory agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO), which advise engaging in 75-150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week.
Also, those in their fourth decade of life or later, are especially well-served by the benefits of practicing yoga as part of their ketogenic lifestyle. Those practicing for at least five years display lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure—a primary risk factor of heart disease, if elevated.
Keto and Yoga Can Help with Weight Loss
You may be familiar with the ketogenic diet's ability to widdle your waistline, especially blasting abdominal fat when in ketosis, but it's also worth noting that yoga provides a similar effect—so you magnify either's potency when combined!
Even more impressive is how effective yoga proved on a study conducted in observance of 37 adults over the age of 40, a time at which some report more difficulty releasing fat—especially women whose estrogen levels are often drastically depleted with aging.
If you ask us, only benefits appear in the pairing of a ketogenic diet and yoga, in general, as well as in particular for weight loss. The bottom line is, both have many overlapping benefits that help to magnify the other's efficacy—they're like a health-based power couple.
Keto and Yoga Can Support the Nervous System
Our nervous systems are comprised of two primary sub-systems, our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, with the parasympathetic system being quite vital as it's responsible for the metabolism, breathing, digestion, and even heart health!
The relaxed pace and deep breathing of yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system and even decreases the likelihood that the sympathetic nervous system could be triggered which helps to lower stress levels, as well as blood pressure.
Another benefit with a lot of promise is the benefit of yoga on reducing the symptoms of epilepsy. If you're at all familiar with the history of the ketogenic diet, you know that the diet initially gained acclaim because of its efficacy in aiding to remediate the symptoms of epileptic seizures in children.
Combining yoga and a ketogenic diet will likely have incredible results for those who have a seizure disorder and are two non-invasive ways to treat this potentially debilitating disorder, very encouraging.
The seizure-suppressing properties of yoga, thanks to the practice's beneficial impact on the parasympathetic system, also significantly helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
The alkalizing and neuroprotective properties of the ketogenic diet, together with yoga's ability to activate the parasympathetic nervous system are inclined to enhance mental clarity and lead to general feelings of well-being—combining keto and yoga continues to look better and better.
Keto and Yoga Can Alleviate Type 2 Diabetes
You're likely aware of the anti-inflammatory benefit of removing or drastically reducing sugar and refined carbs from your diet—mainly related to the benefits it offers the body in the area of glucose regulation.
However, you may not be aware that the expansive poses or asanas that relieve your joints can lead to a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, as well!
More promising still, one study conducted among 20 adults with type 2 diabetes showed that performing yoga poses resulted in diminished glucose levels, a reduced waist-hip ratio, and better-regulated insulin levels.
Additional evidence on the benefits of a ketogenic diet among adults with type 2 diabetes is offered by a study conducted in Kuwait, performed on a group of more than 350 obese, overweight and diabetic patients.
The participants following a ketogenic diet displayed more significant reductions in weight and improved glycemia compared to the group following a low-calorie, high-carb, protocol.
Another study monitoring 84 people suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes in the US showed a more significant weight loss in the participants following a ketogenic diet as opposed to the control group ascribing to a low-glycemic, low-fat, calorie-restricted protocol.
Those curious about the health benefits of the ketogenic diet or the practice of yoga are in luck because both have been the subject of many clinical trials and scientific studies.
The collective and compounded benefits of doing yoga and following a keto diet are extensive.
From helping to reduce stress and anxiety to combating oxidative stress or free-radical damage, or even acting as a practical aid in treating epilepsy and type 2 diabetes—combining a regular yoga practice with a nutritious, ketogenic diet could significantly contribute to your holistic health and well-being: mind, body, and soul.
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