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Hashimoto’s and Exercise: 3 Strength Moves Every Woman Must Do

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects women and is the cause of hypothyroidism in 90% of the cases where there is a Hashimoto’s diagnosis.

A Combination of Therapies is The Most Effective Solution for Hashimoto’s

Conventional medicine doesn’t not offer a solution or a “cure” for Hashimoto’s, but when combined with functional medicine and chiropractic care, patients are more likely to be able to create enough of an improvement that they’ll see noticeable differences or a reduction in their symptoms.

We Get it, You’re Exhausted

If you suffer from Hashimoto’s, you’ll understand the level of exhaustion that comes with it. The thought of exercising may seem counterproductive, but the truth is, exercise will make you feel better in the long run. We aren’t talking about running marathons here though, but light to moderate – regular- exercise is what will make a world of difference in how your body feels. The secret is to not overexert yourself, but with a combination of strength training and compound movements, you will be on your way to feeling more human.

Functional medicine doctors contribute to your success by helping to clear up any possible underlying causes that can contribute to your symptoms like parasites, poor sleep hygiene, stress, and increased stomach acid. Before beginning a workout regimen, it’s important to ensure you are treating what’s happening inside your body, as well as what’s on the outside.

How Often Should I Work Out with Hashimoto’s?

Exercising 2-3 times a week should be standard, and you should commit 20-30 minutes to each workout. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re doing compound functional exercises, you aren’t wasting any time. The result will be a stronger body to function in your everyday life. From carrying groceries to lifting your toddler, the exercises will help you to be able to function well physically in your day to day life.

There are 3 moves (or exercises) that will help you create a foundation for a stronger body and a more confident self.

1. 6-Month Supine

The supine exercises all involve starting on your back with your legs bent. From this position, you can consider the following;

  1. Allowing your legs to fall gently to each side (leg fall out)
  2. Raising your knees up with your legs parallel to the floor (double leg)
  3. Keeping your feet flat on the floor and pushing your belly to the ceiling allowing your glutes to lift off the floor with your arms flat (full hip extension) or,
  4. The same position as above, while adding the lift of one leg into the air (single hip extension).

2. Forearm Plank

Starting facedown with your legs closed and extended straight behind you, prop yourself up on your toes and your elbows with your forearm flat against the floor. If it helps, you can clasp your hands together.

  1. Focus on tightening your core muscles and keeping your body in a straight line from your head to your feet.
  2. Hold this position for 60 seconds, or as long as you can. If you struggle to hold it for a minute at first, it’s ok to work your way up in 10-second increments.
  3. If you struggle to do the plank at first, begin by placing your knees on the ground instead of your feet until you build up enough back strength to straighten your legs.

3. Deadlift

A deadlift is a similar movement to a hip hinge but with the use of a barbell or kettlebell. Start with a weight suggested by our chiropractor to ensure you aren’t overexerting yourself. With your legs shoulder width apart, use an overhand grip that is wide enough that your hands are just outside your legs. Your back should be flat from start to finish, and your shoulders should remain pulled back and facing down. Keeping the bar in contact with your legs, your hips and knees should move together to transfer the bar from the ground to the upper thigh. Slowly return to your start position, maintaining a straight back.

These muscle building exercises will stimulate muscle protein synthesis, will kickstart your metabolism, and will help your body to regulate your hormones. These foundation forming moves are the basis of a stronger, less fatigued body.

Form is Everything

It’s important to pay special attention to your form while working out. Although short and sweet, you can really hurt yourself without adequate form. Here are some examples of issues in form that can result in an injury:

  1. Hyperextending your knees or elbows.
  2. Sway back, which is the opposite of slouching. Here, your back is leaning too far back causing your spine to curve inwards which results in anterior pelvic
  3. Chin jutting, or pushing your chin forward when doing a strenuous movement can lead to neck pain or injury.

The bottom line is, Hashimoto’s can be debilitating at the best of times and the last thing your fatigued body or brain wants to think about is exercise. But the stronger your body is, the better it will function. Like with anything else, it’s the first few weeks that are the most difficult. After a while, you’ll be looking forward to your workouts. Day by day you’ll feel stronger and more confident.

Our chiropractors and team of healthcare professionals will work collectively with you to discover triggers, changes, and therapies that will allow you to look and feel as great as possible. Learn how you can become thyroid strong with my guide to beat fatigue and feel strong in your body.

In Good Health,

Dr Emily Kiberd