How Should You Exercise When You Have a Slow Thyroid?

How Should You Work Out if You Have a Slow Thyroid?

Do you have a hard time losing weight, even when you reduce your calories? That may be a sign of a slow thyroid. What is your thyroid? The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in your throat, and it releases thyroid hormone. That’s basically the “gas pedal” on your metabolism.

If it’s not working properly, your metabolism slows down and you gain weight even when you eat low calories and exercise like a maniac.

What are some other signs of hypothyroidism?

  • Thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • You feel cold (especially in the hands and feet) even when other people around you aren’t
  • You feel slow
  • You’re tired
  • You may have mild depression
  • Infrequent bowel movements (less than once a day)

This newsletter won’t tell you how to fix your thyroid. That’s way too involved and beyond my scope of practice anyway (if you’d like to take care of that, call Dr. John Dempster at 416-551-9577. He’s the best person I know when it comes to thyroid and hormonal problems). But what this article will tell you is how to exercise when you have a slow thyroid. And if you don’t suspect that you have a slow thyroid, just forward this email to someone who does.

How Should You Exercise if You Thyroid is Underactive

Admittedly there is very little scientific research on how exercise affects people with a thyroid condition.

So let me speak from practical experience. Practically speaking, I’ve noticed that people who have a pure thyroid condition (they have no other factors) will respond to exercise the same as anyone else. If they want to lose weight, I’d have them exercise just as I would a regular fat loss client (by taking advantage of the bootcamp offer, you can find out how that is).

But if our hypothyroid client also has some adrenal fatigue, the approach would be different.

If that’s our circumstance, we train them the way we would train a person who has adrenal fatigue. The exercise would be very gentle. Lots of stretching, learning movement-types of exercises, and on their own, we’d recommend tai chi, yoga, and good ol’ plain walking. Certainly nothing strenuous until that person recovers.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments section below, and I’ll be sure to answer them.

Quick Summary

  • The thyroid hormone is the “gas pedal” on your metabolism. If it’s too slow, you’ll have big problems losing weight even if you’re eating low calories.
  • If it’s just a hypothyroid issue, train the way you’d train if you didn’t have a thyroid issue.
  • If you have a combined adrenal and thyroid issue, do gentle activities like walking, yoga, tai chi, etc. until you recover. Then train normally.

Additional Resources

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2 thoughts on “How Should You Exercise When You Have a Slow Thyroid?”

  1. Thank you for the reminder and information. I have both the combination of adrenal and thyroid, but nobody told me the reason why slow, sedentary exercise is better for me. I was only recommended to do Tai Chi and Yoga, which I have tried. It does help come to think about it when I have the energy and motivated to do it. Perhaps I need to get back at Tai Chi on a regular basis. Yoga I do stretching mostly with some yoga moves. Although I prefer running than walking now, but thinking it’s not good for me. It helps me pump up and de-stress me.

    I am always tired and have no energy in the morning when I wake up, as I think it’s because I’m not getting a deep REM sleep. I tried the other recommendations from the last newsletter, but still no success. I figure I need to take an adrenal supplement which I started. Now rethinking I should be taking a thyroid support supplement.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Ps. Is Dr. John Dempster a DC, a Nutritionist? I don’t believe I have ever met him.

    Thank you

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