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4 best workouts for women with Hypothyroidism #WomensHealth

written by Vidya Sury October 6, 2019
4 best workouts for women with Hypothyroidism

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This post offers four effective workouts for women with hypothyroidism. Managing your normal routine can be challenging when you have hypothyroidism, particularly with all the aches, pains and other symptoms, not to mention the sense of fatigue. Sticking to an exercise or fitness routine can seem impossible.

However, it is important to stay active to maintain a healthy weight and manage the symptoms. The good news? With the right exercise you can not only fight hypothyroidism but also build your core strength. The benefits are better sleep and a sense of well-being.

About the thyroid gland

The thyroid gland releases two hormones: T3 and T4 which regulate metabolism and convert the food you eat into energy. They also regulate body temperature and heart rate.

If you have insufficient T3 and T4, you tend to feel exhausted and gain weight. You also experience body ache, hair loss. Your digestive system becomes upset and your body temperature is not regulated. On top of all this, you feel a sense of irritability.

What can you do? Synthetic thyroid hormones can resolve some of the symptoms but this is not enough. For long term health, lifestyle changes are necessary, especially a regular exercise routine.

Why it is important for women with hypothyroidism to exercise

Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps combat stress, promotes better sleep and overall wellness. For women with hypothyroidism, the right exercise routine is important. It helps maintain healthy weight and strengthens the muscles. As a result, metabolism improves, keeping the heart healthy. This is crucial for thyroid health.

What to remember before you begin your exercise routine

  • If swimming works for you, do avoid chlorinated pools. Pick salt water pools instead. If you live close to the sea, that’s perfect.
  • Avoid endurance training as it can worsen your condition, leading to muscle and joint pain.
  • If you are thinking of approaching a trainer, pick one who is compassionate and understands your limitations, while encouraging you.
  • Only opt for low-impact exercise that makes you feel comfortable.

Before you get started, do consult your doctor for specific advice based on your unique health status.

4 best workouts for women with hypothyroidism

4 best workouts for women with hypothyroidism

If your thyroid is under control, your exercise options are similar to those of a healthy person. But if you are under treatment for managing the symptoms and are looking for a safe exercise plan, it is better to choose something that is not too strenuous that also helps with strength training.  Since hypothyroidism causes joint and muscle pain, avoid intense workouts that can do more harm than good.

The following workout suggestions are easy, non-intimidating, and doable at any time. Pick what feels most comfortable and enjoyable to you.  Here are four workouts that are safe and effective for women with hypothyroidism.

1.     Walking/Swimming/Cycling

Perhaps the easiest yet effective workout for women with hypothyroidism is walking. You can do it at any time of day and it costs nothing, except a pair of comfortable shoes. If you can make time for a walk in the morning, not only will your day get off to a good start, but you also get the added bonus of your daily dose of vitamin D. Sunshine before 11.00 a.m. promotes the production of melatonin which helps you sleep better.

In case, your joint pains happen to be intense, you can try walking on a treadmill on in the swimming pool, if possible. Walking in water reduces the impact or strain on your joints. Having an exercise or walking buddy can keep you motivated to stick to your exercise routine, keep you on track and make it more fun! Enjoy cycling and swimming? Great! Go for it!

2.     Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that not only helps you stay physically fit but also mentally healthy. Join a yoga class if you are a beginner. You’ll need to wear comfortable clothing and carry a yoga mat. Restorative yoga triggers muscular activity blended with mental focus, creating self-awareness, an awareness of your breath and your energy.  Yoga is the prefect workout for women with hypothyroidism as it helps overcome the response to stress, thanks to the regulated breathing techniques.

Yoga also promotes calm and reduces anxiety, naturally leading to a better mood. When you practice yoga, it activates the relaxation response, thereby nurturing thyroid health. But do avoid hot yoga and any other strenuous exercise that raises your body heat.

3.     Strength training

Strength training is an important part of a healthy workout. But when it comes to workouts for women with hypothyroidism, nothing too intense: just some gentle weight lifting or using your own body weight to strengthen your muscles. This helps with weight loss even when you are not working out, besides reducing joint pains.

Opt for hand weights or resistance bands. Resistance training tones the body and keeps it fit and firm. A bonus side-effect of all workouts for women with hypothyroidism is improved self-confidence. Feeling good about yourself helps a great deal. Begin with one-kilogram dumb bells and gradually increase this, based on your comfort.  If you don’t have dumb bells, just fill two 500 ml bottles of water and use one in each hand, to start with.

4.     Tai chi

Tai chi is a popular exercise these days. It is also called moving meditation. It involves gentle movements that not only improve strength, balance and mood, but keep you calm and stress-free. See if you can find a class nearby and enrol yourself.

There you have it! Four easy, effective workouts for women with hypothyroidism. Which one is your favorite? Which ones do you practice?

Stay healthy!

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Leana Lourens October 15, 2019 at 11:23 am

Hello Vidya. I’ve heard of so many women struggling with thyroid problems. It’s really not nice. I didn’t know that exercise will help, that’s actually really interesting and good to know.

Julie October 15, 2019 at 11:28 am

I personally do the strength training and find that it works better for me. I think it is so important to find the right program that works for you.

Tina Barnes October 15, 2019 at 7:59 pm

My mom actually has hypothyroidism. She started working out and feels a ton better. She does workouts from home with her body as the weight. I’ll be sure to pass along these suggestions. I tried Tai Chi and for me it was a bit hard to balance but it was really calming.


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