If you are like me and your symptoms may have gotten in the way of a regular exercise program, and exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, symptoms like fatigue, swelling, and joint and muscle pain don’t make you want to get up and go. Living with hypothyroidism can sometimes feel like a vicious cycle.
This condition can cause these named symptoms and weight gain. Weight gain can lead to achy joints and fatigue. And fatigue and achy joints can make exercise a chore. What’s more, as anyone with hypothyroidism knows, you may experience times when you feel that you don’t have the energy to move.
But you should know that making exercise part of your daily routine can actually help you manage your symptoms better.
There’s no one regimen that’s perfect for everyone but getting regular exercise — even at the most moderate levels — is important for anyone with hypothyroidism. Not only does regular exercise help with symptom management but it can also boost your metabolism.
Thyroid hormones regulate the size and performance of muscles. The thyroid needs to be substantially active to allow a rapid increase in thyroid hormone levels when muscles are performing. As TSH values increase, exercise intensity can increase as well.
Several fitness problems are connected with an underactive thyroid:
Reduced amount of blood the heart can pump with each beat—this decreases the amount of oxygen and food that is brought to the working muscles, reducing their performance
Reduced quantity of fat extracted from cells—this means there’s not enough fats delivered to muscles. Fat is a crucial substrate for muscle contraction during exercise. Lack of fat in muscles makes muscles weaker.
Reduced insulin sensitivity—making it increasingly difficult to get sugar from blood, which is necessary for muscles to work effectively.
Interference with normal bone metabolism—bone formation and resorption normally happens when people exercise. Poor bone metabolism makes bones more brittle and prone to breaking.
Slowed down the rate of recovery for muscle injuries and tears—this means it takes longer to recover from injury and go back to exercise
T3 hormone promotes type 2 muscle fibers (also known as fast fibers) and are needed for performance. Proper nutrition and being free of infections should also help to keep your athletic performance up.
If your condition is well controlled, you should be able to do the same physical activity as someone without a thyroid disorder, says John C. Morris, MD, professor of medicine and endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
But if you’re just starting an exercise plan or if you’re still dealing with symptoms, low-impact aerobic exercise and strengthening moves are best.
Regular exercise can help you:
Lose weight; often one of the first symptons people notice when they have hypothyroidism is weight gain. Whilst taking you medication regulary helps with symptons this does not automatically make you lose weight. So losing weight becomes essential to many, both to help boost self-esteem and to reduce any added stress on joints.
Physical therapists encourage low-impact cardiovascular exercises, such as cycling, elliptical training, swimming, and walking. As you build up your fitness level, talk to your doctor about moving on to more intense cardio workouts — such as running — if desired.
Maintain a healthy weight; while cardio helps shed the pounds, activities like weight lifting and strength training help keep the weight off. While weight lifting helps you ward off weight gain, it can also help boost your metabolism and improve overall strength.
Decrease joint pain; when you’re first get started with an exercise routine, choose gentle stretching or gentle yoga, espically if you experience joint pain. Swimming and even walking in a pool are also excellent options, as the water reduces stress and pressure on joints.
Relieve Depression; this often accompanies hypothyroidism, but incorporating aerobic exercise scan help elevate metabolism improve energy and relieve depression.
Increases your energy levels: If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), you may often feel fatigued, but regular workouts will combat your tiredness.
Supports deeper, better sleep: When your thyroid is producing too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), your sleep may be fragmented and you may have night sweats that wake you up, resulting in poorer sleep. Getting exercise often results in a good night's sleep.
Increases your bone density: Bone loss can occur with hyperthyroidism, but studies show that strength training can help you get some of that loss back.
Boosts your metabolism: Exercising can be another tool, along with your thyroid medication, to help support a healthy metabolism by burning calories and developing muscle, which in turn burns fat.
Exercise even lowers your risk for heart disease, which is important since having a thyroid disorder automatically increases your risk of developing a heart condition at some point.
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I have never been a massive fan of cardio, and I am comfortable with my shape however I would love to lose some of my extra body fat, so based on the above reasearch, I will focus more on weight training and do HIIT and body weight exercises to help me reduce my body fat levels.. Watch this space!