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Managing Hypothyroidism through Exercise

Common folks leading normal lives with normal metabolic rates do not have much to bother about exercising. It becomes a healthy way of life for them if they have amalgamated it into their lifestyles. However, for people showing symptoms of hypothyroidism, it could be a big deal - managing their weight and consequently, managing hypothyroidism - through exercise.

The condition and its symptoms

What is hypothyroidism? And, what are its general symptoms? We could recognize several of these easily when there is a sudden gain in weight, there is a frequent feeling of fatigue and weakness. In fact, weight could increase so much that patients could feel that despite exercising and having a poor appetite, they could still not control the weight gain. Thyroxine, a hormone normally produced by thyroid gland at the back of the neck, begins to be underproduced leading to the condition. Many women suffer from this and sometimes, men too. Cholesterol level rises, anaemia (low red blood cells), palpitations due to physiologic effect of thyroid hormone on the heart, slow heart beat, edema (swelling in the legs) and menstrual abnormalities become evident. These could be after-pregnancy effects too. Tests by doctors confirm the condition (as some of these could be signs of other disorders too).

Continuing to exercise

That's the spirit! Doctors often recommend that a wise way of dealing with the condition would be to keep exercising apart from effective medication such as Levothyroxine and alternative therapies like yoga. Since your thyroid is underactive, your body may not produce enough thyroid hormone to help burn calories or stored fat. As a result, your metabolic rate is slower and you will store more fat than you burn -- especially if you do not exercise or are physically inactive.

It is a known fact that yogic exercise improves body functions through the manipulation of cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic control mechanism. A recent study (Effect of Yoga on Pulmonary Function Tests of Hypothyroid Patients published by Indian Journal of Physiological Pharmacology, 2010) reveals that the comparison between pre-yoga and post-yoga state demonstrated that all of the spirometric parameters were improved after yoga as compared to pre-yoga reading i.e., taken before practicing pranayama and meditation by hypothyroidic patients.

Or else, you could go up and down the stairs and more, for example, though with some precautions to avoid palpitations...The trick is to stay alive, yet manage the condition and not to be overwhelmed by it. Sticking to the nutritionist diet recommendation and doing a bit of cardio exercises helps further in containing weight problems.

Mary Shomon, a hypothyroidism victim herself who has managed to control it to a large extent, a patient member of American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, and a well-known journalist on thyroid care, recommends a good round of exercise and self-belief to contain weight. Mary also provides extensive thyroid/health coaching services.