Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thyroid Considerations for Exercise Workouts

You have hypothyroidism if your thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Some signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland are fatigue, weight gain, dry and pale skin, constipation, sluggishness, unexplained weight gain and depression, according to Fortunately, medication — and potentially exercise — helps boost your hormone levels.
Having a low level of thyroid hormones in your body makes your metabolism more sluggish and can lead to weight gain. However, getting exercise on a regular basis will help combat weight gain because it burns calories. Performing cardiovascular and resistance-training exercise also helps boost your metabolism after workouts, according to Health Services at Columbia University. Exercise also increases your brain’s level of “feel good” chemicals such as dopamine, which may help improve a low mood caused by hypothyroidism.
Getting started on an exercise regimen can be difficult if hypothyroidism is reducing your energy levels. Your best bet is to consult a doctor or physical therapist to create a safe, effective and do-able workout routine. She may suggest that you reduce the intensity and split exercise into multiple short sessions, such as two 15-minute, moderate-paced swimming or biking sessions rather than one speedy 30-minute session per day. You may also opt to try a low-stress form of exercise, such as gardening and yoga, to reduce stress and depression related to hypothyroidism.
Getting aerobic exercise may increase your thyroid’s production of hormones T3 and T4, according to an article published in a 2005 issue of “Neuroendocrinology Letters.” According to the study, working out at about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate — you can estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 — increases your T3 and T4 hormone levels the most, whereas exercising at 90 percent of your maximum heart rate causes your T3 levels to decline. Exercising at 70 percent of your maximum heart rate is equivalent to working out at a moderate intensity, and working at 90 percent is considered exercising at a vigorous pace.
Although exercising may cause thyroid hormone levels to increase in some cases, your doctor will likely recommend medical treatment to ensure that your body has a healthy level of thyroid hormones. A standard treatment for low thyroid hormone levels is a synthetic hormone medication called levothyroxine, according to This medication won’t cure hypothyroidism, which means you will probably need to take it for life.

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates