9 Exercises to Fight Hypothyroidism


Jennifer Larson

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Exercise has several major specific benefits for people with hypothyroidism:

  • It helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. A very common side effect of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Many people with hypothyroidism also report feeling tired and sluggish, which makes them less inclined to be physically active. But a sedentary lifestyle also makes you more likely to pack on a few unwanted pounds. Exercise is the solution to that problem.

  • It can help improve your cardiovascular health. Getting regular exercise benefits your heart and your cardiovascular system. People with hypothyroidism need to watch their "bad" cholesterol levels, which can increase their risk of developing heart disease.

  • It improves your mood and energy levels. Remember the fatigue and sluggish feelings that are the unpleasant hallmarks of hypothyroidism? Exercise promotes the production of those feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, which means they transmit electrical signals through your body. They can reduce your perception of pain, modulate your appetite and even reduce some of the side effects of stress and anxiety. Ever heard of the "runner's high"? That's endorphins at work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise or 75 minute of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week. Add to your list some strength-training to build and maintain muscle mass at least two days per week.

Lifestyle changes are a big part of treating hypothyroidism, and this group talks about the challenges.

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