If you have thyroid disease, your symptoms may have prevented you from engaging in a regular exercise program. However, you should know that incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help you manage your symptoms better.
People with thyroid diseases frequently have symptoms that aren't clearly evident. That is why it may go undiagnosed for a long time in the majority of cases.
Exercise can help you lose weight, improve heart health, boost mood and energy levels, strengthen the bones, control blood sugar, and help improve flexibility.
What Are Thyroid Problems?
The thyroid is a small gland that releases hormones that enable metabolism. Numerous critical bodily processes, including heart rate, body temperature, and energy reserves, are regulated by thyroid hormones. People experience symptoms related to these systems when their thyroid is not functioning effectively.
1. Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland does not secrete enough thyroid hormones, it indicates hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
2. Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland secretes an excessive amount of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of the two conditions are essentially the opposite.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
- Weight loss
- Excessive perspiration
- Frequent bowel movements
- Rapid heart rate
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Can Exercise Help With Thyroid Problems?
Exercise can alleviate many symptoms of thyroid disease, but it cannot cure the underlying cause. Regular exercise has numerous advantages, regardless if you have a thyroid condition. It can enhance your cardiovascular fitness, strength, and muscle mass, improve your mood, and help you lose weight.
Cardiovascular exercise is essential for overall health, so include it in your exercise routine. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. You should aim for 30 minutes per day, five days per week, but you can start with less and work your way up.
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Another crucial element of a workout plan is strength training. Lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises can be part of this (like pull-ups and push-ups). Yoga and Pilates, for example, include some strength training as well. As with any exercise, begin slowly and gradually increase your training time. Make an effort to work on major muscle groups (pull, push, and legs).
What Type Of Exercise Is Best?
Select an activity that you enjoy. Walking, hiking, running, swimming, or working out in a gym are all examples. The best type of exercise is probably a combination of low-impact aerobics and strength training. "Low-impact aerobics can increase heart rate without putting too much strain on your joints." Cardio workouts can be performed on a recumbent bike, an elliptical machine, or simply by walking. "Yoga and Pilates can also help improve core muscle strength and alleviate back and hip pain."
Maintain your fitness plan for 30 to 60 minutes three times per week, and combine it with healthy eating. "As always, we recommend starting slowly and progressing gradually—always consult your doctor about what is safe for you." The goal should be progress rather than perfection."
Lifestyle Changes To Manage Thyroid Disease
In addition to the proper treatment, there are several things you can do to manage your thyroid problems. These include incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into your daily routine. Here are some healthy lifestyle changes that will aid in your thyroid recovery.
- Use meditation to reduce stress: According to the National Institutes of Health, mindfulness practices help lessen the symptoms of serious illnesses as well as psychological problems associated with them like anxiety and stress.
- Get a massage every 1-3 weeks to relax your body: Give your body the break it needs. Massage helps relieve pain, and reduces muscle tension and inflammation.
- Unplug and go outside for some fresh air: Activities such as yoga, reading a book, or going for long walks can help your thyroid gland perform better.
- Ensure that you are getting enough sleep: Thyroid issues can take a toll on your mental and physical health. To maintain your energy levels, you must have a sound sleep of 7-9 hours.
- Stay in touch with your loved ones: Recovering from an illness can be more exhausting for some people. Additionally, you can notice increased indicators of social rejection in such cases. Thus staying connected with people who make you feel loved and comfortable is crucial. Sometimes, just talking to your loved ones or spending quality time with them can make you feel elated.
- Cut on caffeine: It is best to limit yourself to one cup of coffee per day.
When starting a new exercise routine for thyroid conditions, start with gentle exercises such as cardio, bodyweight training, yoga, or Pilates. You can gradually build up to the recommended amount of exercise and incorporate strength training. This will help to alleviate thyroid symptoms and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.