Let’s talk about exercise with hashimoto’s…
Do you have Hashimoto’s disease?
Have you had problems with Hashimoto’s exercise intolerance?
These are great questions, and there is a right and wrong way, and time to exercise with Hashimoto’s disease.
Common questions I get regarding exercise with hashimoto’s are:
- “Is it safe to exercise with hashimoto’s?”
- “Can someone with hashimoto’s perform strenuous exercise like CrossFit?”
- “What is the best hashimoto’s exercise plan?”
- “What are the best exercises for hashimoto’s?”
- “Does exercise help hashimoto’s”, or “is exercise good for hashimoto’s?”
I think you get the idea, and if you are reading this page, then you too, are likely looking for some help and guidance… so let me try to help.
Although it’s good to exercise regularly, and everyone should exercise to stay healthy, working out too much can work against you.
Here is a great rule of thumb… after you exercise, how do you feel?
If you feel exhausted, YOU OVERTRAINED!
What is overtraining, it is when you push your body to the point that you exceed your recovery capacity.
Guess how you should feel after exercise?
You should be invigorated.
Yeah, if you are like most people, you are in disbelief.
You aren’t alone, I used to think that if I didn’t destroy myself in gym that I wouldn’t make progress, but that is not the case when it comes to people with hashimoto’s disease.
Look, if you are an athlete, and healthy, go for it, and completely exhaust yourself.
Most athletes have the capacity to recover, but when you are autoimmune and sick, you don’t push yourself to your limits, until you are healthy enough to properly recover.
It’s important to do it right… exercise with hashimoto’s should be planed, and become progressively more intense as your body improves metabolically in its ability to properly recover.
What exactly does that mean? It means you are an individual, and you have a unique starting capacity, as well as unique capacity to improve… so take it slow, and listen to your body. Is it fatigued, or energized?
A new study found that older women (ages 60 to 72) who worked out two to four times a week burned more calories each day and found exercise more pleasurable than those who worked out more.
You and I both know people that workout 6 to 7 days per week… I’m telling you now, that it is to much.
Even healthy male athletes, can sometimes workout 1 time per week (granted they completely exhaust themselves) and make incredible gains. The key is their capacity, and time to recover.
People that exercise with hashimoto’s typically have a very low capacity to recover, and it takes months, if not years to rebuild their ability to exercise vigorously… and guess what, it’s okay.
The first step is understanding the problem.
Past studies have found exercising vigorously almost every day causes some people to be less physically active overall compared to those who exercise less.
Researchers suggest constant vigorous exercise sends messages to the brain that the body is overdoing it and needs rest, which may cause fatigue or lethargy.
For example, vigorous exercisers may take the stairs less, be more inclined to drive instead of walk, or park close to the entrance of a store instead of traversing the parking lot.
Do you see the pattern? This is what I mentioned earlier… exercise should not fatigue you, it should energize you! You should feel awake and full of energy after exercising, not blown out!
Working out fewer days per week showed more benefit
In the study, researchers divided the women into three groups who jogged, walked, cycled and lifted weights. One group worked out twice a week, one group four times a week, and the third group six times a week.
Some interesting results emerged from the study.
The group exercising twice a week showed the same gains in fitness as the groups who worked out more often.
However, the group working out four days a week burned the most calories per day, an additional 225 calories outside of the exercise session.
Frequent exercisers burned out and burned fewer calories
What is more surprising is the group who worked out six times a week burned 200 fewer calories a day than before they began.
Apparently, the six-day-a-week group suffered burnout.
They complained the exercise schedule took up too much of their time and made them feel pressured.
As a result, they made lifestyle choices that were quicker but more sedentary, such as driving or taking the elevator instead of walking or taking the stairs.
The other two groups reported feeling more energized and capable.
They started taking the stairs over the escalator, walking regularly for pleasure, and incorporating more activity into their lives in general.
In conclusion the group working out four days a week experienced the most benefits, but those working out only twice a week came pretty close.
Over exercising can do more harm than good
Of course, if you enjoy working out six days a week and it does not negatively affect you, then there is no need to work out less.
Regular physical activity has been shown to lower the risk a long list of chronic diseases, including depression, heart disease, and diabetes.
Movement is life! Move if you can.
However, overtraining can:
- deplete hormones
- depress immunity
- lead to bone loss
- increase the risk of injuries
- slow healing
- increase inflammation
- cause a general feeling of burn-out
Overtraining causes your body to pump out extra cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that helps us cope with stress.
High cortisol can cause:
- bone loss
- muscle breakdown
- create belly fat
- increase sugar cravings
- thin intestinal walls “leaky gut”
- lead to insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that causes high blood sugar
Some people who overtrain suffer from low cortisol, which can lead to:
- weight gain
- low blood sugar (with dizziness, light-headedness, and irritability)
- muscle weakness
- “leaky gut,”
- difficulty recovering from workouts
- poor immune strength
Symptoms of overtraining
Symptoms of overtraining include:
- Persistent tiredness
- Worsening strength and stamina
- Sleep disturbances
- Slow recovery
- Aching joints or limbs
- Frequent illness
When you exercise with hashimoto’s, sufficient recovery between exercise sessions and exercising at an appropriate intensity will get you fitter faster without compromising your health.
If you would like help determining what is causing your health challenges, and to would like to try and speed up your recovery, save time and money, then you should consider working with Dr. Shook one-on-one.
We work with patients and clients over Skype and via phone across the US and in other countries, so if you need help, give us a call at (828) 324-0800.
Have a great day! I hope this helps you!