People often ask me about exercise. What’s the best kind of exercise for Hashimoto’s?
There are 2 types and both can be beneficial. But the real key is not to overdo it. If you do too much you defeat the purpose of exercise and you wind up doing more harm than good.
The first type is simple and slow.
Walking, slow jogging, slow cycling or other exercises like yoga, tai chi or qigong that involve endurance can support your adrenals. This type of exercise can decrease cortisol, help with blood flow and circulation and normalize blood pressure.
Something like this should be part of your routine a few times a week.
The second type involves high intensity for short duration. This should also be part of the mix.
According to research, the optimal exercise level to achieve all the health benefits described above is high intensity: when doing this you will:
* Break a sweat after 3-5 minutes
* Breathe deeply and rapidly
* Only talk in short phrases while you are doing this.
You want to go hard enough to achieve 70% or greater of your maximum heart rate. This can be calculated by this simple equation: 220 – your age in years = your maximum heart rate.
There is a fine line between the right amount of exercise which can really improve health and too much which can actually cause more health problems.
The key point is this: The more intense the exercise, the greater the potential for health benefits that include everything mentioned above, but also the greater risk of doing too much and this results in the loss of all those benefits.
This is especially true if you suffer from an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s because you may not be able to exercise like a normal person and you may reach the threshold of maximum benefit sooner than people who do not have this condition.
So the best thing to do is to start slow and gradually build. And the objective is not to “feel the burn” or “pain is gain”. You are in enough pain. The object is to feel better, feel energized and feel the beneficial effects of exercise. If you are wiped out after your workout, you’ve gone too far.
Start small and only increase when you feel like what you are doing is physically not demanding enough. A high intensity workout can be beneficial if you doing as little as 5 minutes per day. Err on the side of too little, if you’re not sure.
Here’s a longer blog post that really goes into detail and provides a great 7 minute high intensity work out. Check it out and try it!