The thyroid has the important role of regulating metabolic processes. When this gland starts to lose its efficiency, you are faced with a number of issues such as weight gain, dry skin, brittle hair and muscle aches to name just a few. Hypothyroidism slows down your overall metabolism pace, which may lead to weight gain. To lose weight you need to change your dietary habits, which means lowering carbohydrates and lowering calorie intake, but it’s often not enough to help you maintain healthy weight. You will also need a proper exercise regimen.
Hypothyroidism patients often don’t feel comfortable with all exercises due to feeling fatigued. Since metabolism is slow, fatigue comes faster than in the case of a healthy individual. It’s best to steer clear of intensive exercises such as weightlifting.
Recommended Exercises for Hypothyroidism Patients
For the best results try low-intensity aerobic exercises and slow running, yoga, speed walking, riding a bike, elliptical trainer workout or swimming. For the best results try doing these exercises early in the morning as it will heat up your body, speed up your heart rate and allow you to burn more calories.
Besides running and biking, you can design a program of gym exercises, which can include squats (without weight), overhead press, lat pulldowns and horizontal (rowing) pull. You shouldn’t use excessive weights. Find a weight amount which best suits your readiness. Try doing some light aerobic exercises before gym to warm up your body and overall you should be able to burn more calories this way.
Walking is essential. Walk as much as possible and maybe even consider buying a pedometer to keep track of your step count. You should walk every day if possible, walk whenever you find time. Walking can help even at the days when you do other exercises as it helps for additional calorie burn. In case you don’t have time, or weather conditions aren’t quite walker-friendly, you can try using a treadmill or a stationary bike.
A sample workout week may look like this:
MONDAY: morning run/walk 2-4 miles, walking in the afternoon or evening, 15,000 steps.
TUESDAY: running/walking 1-2 miles, gym workout, walking 5000-10,000 steps
WEDNESDAY: riding a bike 20-30 miles in the afternoon, home workout after that.
THURSDAY: running/walking 1-2 miles, gym workout.
FRIDAY: riding a bike 20-30 miles, home workout.
SATURDAY: walking 5-10 miles.
SUNDAY: running/walking 2-3 miles, gym workout.
You can combine these exercises the following weeks, and you should also have days of rest, without any exercise.
It is important to consult your doctor before taking up any exercise regimen. Not all hypothyroidism cases are the same, some may impair your body’s abilities more, and some less. Your doctor will give you a detailed info on the limitations of your body, and how not to have your health deteriorate further due to excessive workout. You may need to consult your doctor anytime there are changes in your thyroid hormone levels, or whenever they change your thyroid drug prescriptions.