Posted by Nicole on August 11
If you are concerned about your thyroid health, you know that the lifestyle choices you make are important. One question you may have is, “Will exercising help support my thyroid function?” Let’s talk about what you should know about your thyroid and working out.
What is the Impact of Working Out on Thyroid Hormones?
Research suggests that exercising does have an impact on thyroid hormones. Indeed, the most prominent effects seem to occur at the anaerobic threshold, as described in this study.
Are the effects of exercise helpful? Well, it all depends on your situation.
WebMD suggests that exercising may be helpful to those whose thyroids are underactive. The site reports, “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.”
But Cleveland Clinic says that patients with overactive thyroids should be particularly cautious, as excess exercise may be dangerous.
SingleCare points out that patients cannot normalize hormone levels through exercise. Yet, the site says, working out can “help fight negative effects of certain symptoms, such as weight gain, depression, stiffness, joint aches, and muscle weakness.”
What Workouts Can You Consider for Thyroid Health?
Assuming you have a healthy thyroid, you should be able to do any workouts you like safely.
If your thyroid levels are not balanced or controlled, however, you should talk to your healthcare provider to come up with a safe and healthy exercise plan.
Most likely, your provider will suggest low-impact, gentle exercises to you. Some examples might include tai chi, walking, or water aerobics.
Just keep in mind that the exercising is really for the maintenance of your overall health. When you work out, your energy levels may improve, your weight may decrease, and your mood may be enhanced. Exercising may improve your feelings of well-being, but it will not prevent, treat, or cure any thyroid condition.
Remember, exercise is just one dimension of a plan for healthy living. You also should eat a diet that supports your thyroid. Get plenty of sleep, balance work with leisure, and practice self-care.