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Best Exercising Techniques if you have a Thyroid Imbalance



I remember when I came to know I had HypoT…I was so heart broken and depressed. The doctor had warned me that it would be tough to lose weight and that I would have to be super strict with my diet and exercise if I wanted to reach my ideal weight according to my Height…I was so down and out for the longest time. I am a hardcore foodie and indulge myself regularly. I did exercise but again not everyday and I could just not imagine cutting down on my food indulgences. Plus being lazy didn’t help matters and now since the doctor himself had told me how hard it would be, I sort of gave up! For about a month, I did nothing but gorge on food and sleep and mope all because I resigned myself to being overweight.

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But yes..things changed…right after that month…Why did it change?? Why did I suddenly see the error of my ways?? Simple…the reason was my upcoming wedding! 🙂 My to-be in-laws had finally agreed to our being together and were to come see me in March…And by this time it was Jan end which left almost no time. So I started a strict diet and started working out. No, I did not lose 20kgs within a month if that’s what your wondering…and my in-laws did see a larger me when they saw me for the first time. But yes…this was a start..

My wedding was set for December which gave me a better part of the year to get into shape. It was all the incentive I needed. For the rest of the year, I did not touch even 1 fast food item  or chocolate (err..maybe I had a tiny bit)and exercised everyday for about an hour. Result?? From a whopping 82 kgs in March, I was down to sleeker 65kgs by my wedding day. How did I achieve this? I’ll let you know by the end of this post. Firstly, I want you to know the ideal exercise routine you should follow. I couldn’t shrug off ALL my laziness so I still didn’t do it all the right way. So I’ll first brief you on the ideal exercises to follow and then I’ll let you know what my workout was like.

Warning

Exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of some thyroid conditions, but it is not a substitute for medical treatment. If you have or suspect you have a thyroid disease, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Medication is often prescribed to combat common conditions such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, and can alleviate symptoms. If you experience sharp or lasting pain or fatigue while working out, stop immediately and see your doctor. Thyroid patients should be cautious not to exercise excessively, as low energy levels and muscle weakness are common problems for those with thyroid disorders.

Also, pls do undertsand that exercise alone will not help. You have to monitor your food intake. For tips on what your Diet should contain, read my previous post on the same here.

Exercise the thyroid gland.

To help balance the energy in the throat, where the thyroid gland is located, perform this simple exercise. Lie on your back, relax, and warm your diaphragm by gently massaging your abdominal area for about a minute. Put one hand on your throat and exhale and start making a sound with every exhalation. Imagine that the sound is coming out of your thyroid, do this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes a day to help reduce thyroid problems.

Aerobics/ Cardio In  Thyroid:-

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Dedicate atleast 40mins to this activity. Some of us like aerobics..There’s something about the rhythm that peps you up. So go for it. If you prefer an individual activity, then Cardio is for you. Make the treadmill your best friend. Start small. Don’t run at the max speed right away if you’re not not used to it. It may cause sprains and more damage than good. Begin with a week of brisk walking. Once your muscles are used to the activity, increase the speed gradually. Maintain breaks. For eg. I love running and can run 40mins at the speed of 7 or so without stopping. But instead of running continuously, I give my body tiny 5min breaks. I start by walking at 3 for 5mins and then increase to 6 or 7 and jog for about 10mins. After 10mins, again I lower the speed to about 4 and walk briskly for 5mins and then again go up to 10mins of jogging and so on…. this is important so that you give your body a steady resistance and so that you body doesn’t get conditioned to a certain speed only. Otherwise your body will get too accustomed to the same schedule and the effectiveness would reduce. So keep changing your rhythm every week.

Strength Circuit in Thyroid:-

Your objective is to do the exercises in a “circuit,” meaning that you do as many of one exercise as you can until you can’t do another one, then move on to the next exercise, etc. When you’ve finished one circuit (series of the three exercises) you rest a minute or two, then go back through the circuit again. The objective is to repeat the circuit three times.

Keep in mind, as you begin, that you may only be able to do one or two of each exercise in each round of the circuit. So say, you do two left lunges, two right lunges, then 2 pushups, and 5 crunches. That’s fine. Rest a minute or two. Do a second circuit. Rest again. Then stop, or do a third circuit. Next time, see if you can add one repetition to each set, 2 lunges on each leg, 3 pushups, etc. The point is to keep challenging yourself, and keep improving from where YOU begin. If you’re doing it with a friend, so what if your friend can do 10 lunges and you can only do 5. Just do what YOU can do, and next time, try to improve your personal best.

Leg Lunges in Thyroid:-

 

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  • Stand with your feet apart, shoulder-width, keeping hands at your side.
  • Take a deep breath, and step backward with the right foot so that your right knee is a few inches above the floor. Make sure your right knee does not extend beyond the toes of your right foot. Keep your hands at your sides and look straight ahead.
  • Exhale and bring the right leg back to the starting position, standing feet apart, hands at side.
  • Repeat again with the right leg as many times as you can.
  • Now, do the same witih your left leg, repeating as many times as you can.

PS. You can do this with weights to increase resistance.

Push Ups & Leg Raises 

 

Those with Thyroid imbalances will notice alot of lethargy in themselves. Most often, this results in flabby thighs or arms. It may even seem like your shoulders are getting bulky. Push ups and Leg raises are the quickest ways to cut this fat out. It’s painful….but it works..You should aim at atleast 3sets of 10 to begin with and you can increase it from there.

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Yoga Exercise For Thyroid Problems:-

Yoga helped me alot! I can praise this to no end. Techiniques like Anulomvilom, Bhujangasana, Pranayam and Suryanamaskar can help a great deal in your weightloss even if you have thyroid issues. It helps alot to regulate your breathing as well and to build stamina which is extremely important. And the best part is that post-yoga, you actually feel energetic instead of tired! So those of you who find gymming too strenuous or don’t have a gym nearby, not to worry…Yoga is THE thing for you. there are plenty of videos out there on YouTube which can help but if you’re new to it I’d suggest you go for some classes initially just to get the postures right. Posture is everything in yoga. If done right, it will do lot of good; but if done wrongly then it may cause worse issues like slip disc and what not. So just be aware…

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A had shared a YouTube video with me sometime last year…It’s a video where Baba Ramdev demonstrates the various asanas for thyroid. Do watch it on the link I’ve given below…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2LEofcC6Bo

These are the vital exercises you can do to lose weight if you have a Thyroid imbalance. And to tell you the regime I followed..

My Exercise Regime to battle thyroid weight-gain

Right before I explain this, I have to tell you I am very, very lazy. I didn’t do a lot of things I should have done that may have helped me shed more weight. I may have not even played by the rule so to speak. I am not trying to say that if this regime worked for me, it would work for you too. I just want to give you a small example of how I tweaked things to my convenience just so that you know that more than being strict about where or when you exercise, its more important to just exercise properly. I am not preaching or praising myself but this regime genuinely helped me lose a lot of chubbiness before my D-Day which I know is a huge day for all of us which we look forward to and want to look our best for.

I used to wake up in the morning and start with a few stretches (while I brushed my teeth) and then proceeded to my Suryanamaskars. Each set consists of 13 suryanamaskars and I started with just 3 (my bulges didn’t alloe me to do more) but worked up to 2 full sets within a month. I feel like Suryanamaskars are like an all-round workout which exercises every single muscle. And what I loved most is that by the end of it I used to feel energized instead of tired. I also would like to mention that I chose Suryanamaskars to start my day instead of gymming because gymming tires me out and it’s something I have to push myself for. And Not being a morning person, I just couldn’t make myself walk into a gym at 7am..And yes, I used to follow these suryanamaskars with Annulom Vilom and  Bhujangasana. I didnt have a set number and just did how much I wanted to. It isn’t straining so it didn’t bother me. This entire Yoga regime took about 30mins in the morning.

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I also used to do cardio at work. Yes, at work….I’m too lazy to go to a gym in the morning or even after work and I knew I’d end up bunking. So the easiest option was to make use of the Gym at work. I hate weights and used them only during lunges…although I’d suggest you go in for weights…It would have helped tone my thighs and arms better. I then ran on the treadmill for 40mins (exactly as described above) and then I used the crosstrainer for about 20mins followed by my lunges and leg raises for a total of 10mins (couldn’t spare more time). So all in all, I used to sweat it out for atleast 1hour at the gym.

This was it. On weekends when I couldn’t go to the gym, I used to skip at home…About 300 skips was my limit though…and ofcourse the yoga continued. When I travelled (my work involved a lot of travel then), I carried my exercise matt and my skipping rope. By the time of my wedding I was a gorgeous 62kgs. My ideal weight as per my height is about 56kgs but I’ll be honest..I’ve never been 56kgs even before I had thyroid. I’ve always been on the heavier side and 58kgs was the best I could manage. I am very proud of how I controlled my diet and stuck to my exercise regime. I felt amazing at my wedding and felt beautiful on the inside which I feel is most impt. Even if I hadn’t lost as much weight, I’d still have been happy because what matters is the effort and I was happier because I’d worked hard. Err..it’s a different thing that I let myself go a bit post marriage…but yea, I’m still pretty satisfied with myself…except those occasion pangs of envy when I see sexy, tiny dresses in stores I fall in love with on sight but won’t fit!!! But Hey! That’s human right? 😉

So ladies, don’t get bogged down by the fact that you have a Thyroid imbalance and have gained a lot of weight. You can lose it…it’s NOT a myth…You just need 2 things: a motivational factor and an exercise mat …and you’re set!

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Comments

  1. zee..i have also started doing suryanamaskars…..but only 10 fr now

  2. zee this post has motivated me to start exercising for my thyroid

    • Nimisha, m glad t help…but pls pls start..if u need any advice, contact me…ill help d best i can..the most impt thing during thyroid is not giving up..

  3. I somehow swear by suryanamaskars and have recently started running .. it never ceases to amaze me how much human body can do if we have the right incentive to do it ..

  4. Thanx ,
    i will also start suryanamskaars daily .

  5. hi zara
    after reading this wonderful post i am feeling like crying…my story is just like you exact weight, same condition the only difference is that instead of coming from up to down my weight went from 60 to 80….and felt so unconformable on my wedding day…we were too having problems with our parents to make them agree for our marriage,and then i started putting on weight…n got diagnosed with hypothyroidism…..in depression i started eating too much…no exercise….n when wedding day came i felt like running away….n to make it more worse in 3 years of marriage i have put on more weight…had ectopic pregnancy…. which ruptured……had my right fallopian tube removed….i feel so sad and depressed…but by reading your post feeling very strange emotions that me too could have done the same but didn’t…..spoiled my most waited day MY WEDDING…..but i am just hoping may be its not too late to make my health better….. thanks for inspiring a lost soul like me..THANKS A TON……

  6. i like ur post ,i will also start exercise. thnx

  7. Ma’m,

    Thanks for the great article.
    I am a guy. While searching for exercises for thyroid I stumbled upon your blog. Doc told me that I am on borderline of hypothyroid and so, I have started working on to reduce it. I agree with you that surya namaskars do help a lot. Its refreshing.

    Thanks,
    Debashis

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