The place to find holistic information about your health

Where to Start to Exercise if You Have Hashimotos

The purpose of this post is to share a little about my own story. Additionally, I hope to help shed some light on what is going on in (and with) your body if you are living with Hashimoto’s.

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. Most of which, affects your connective tissue causing similar symptoms and signs in some cases as other autoimmune diseases – with of course the larger symptoms that are directly related to your diagnosis.

What Is Hashimoto’s?

Hashimoto’s, simply put, is when your immune system attacks your thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism. Your thyroid is responsible for producing and regulating your hormones and for ensuring your metabolism is in working order.

The Sign and Symptoms

Hashimoto’s signs and symptoms include the following;

  • extreme fatigue
  • brain fog (which if you’ve had it, you know exactly what it feels like)
  • difficulty bouncing back after a workout that involves strenuous activity
  • weight gain
  • muscle and joint pain
  • hyper-mobility

There are many more lists of symptoms, but I encourage you to ask your health care team for more answers specific to you.

Some Symptoms are Overlooked

Many of these symptoms overlap with other autoimmune diseases, but there is one overlooked symptom when it comes to Hashimoto’s. Hypermobility. Feeling double jointed, or like you have loose joints, feeling unstable in your body, maybe you have repeated sprains or strains, and a heightened Beighton Score are all signs of hypermobility.

Another unnoticed symptom can be the development of bunions bilaterally. The tissue laxity will cause the feet to pronate as a result of an unstable core, and joints. In addition, low back pain, pelvic tilt, along with the majority of other stability issues are a result of a lack of core stability.

Functional Medicine is a Good Start

Functional medicine is a first line of defense when it comes to Hashimoto’s because there many underlying possible causes like parasites, gluten intolerance, heavy metals in the blood, and food sensitivities. Exploring these possible contributors is an important step in your recovery, once these are dealt with, your chiropractor can move on to treating your connective tissue.

And Then There Are Workouts

Your chiropractor will likely introduce a workout regimen that includes a workout 3 times a week, no longer that 20-30 minutes each, and that will only have you doing compound movements. Although you may feel like stretching, pilates, or yoga would be a good idea, these are not recommended as they will lead to extreme fatigue.

Hashimoto's Essential 7

The Essential 7

The essential 7 has been coined as a term related to 7 essential exercises that are practically related to everyday movements that require strength, and that can be started using your body weight but can also include weights when you’ve worked your way up in strength.

The essential 7 are:

Squats. For when you are picking up toys off the floor, you drop your keys, or a quarter at the store.

Push. For when you are faced with a heavy door, or are putting luggage into an overhead compartment.

Carry. We are often carrying items – groceries, small people, computer bags.

Pull. Walking an unruly dog, pulling items from your trunk.

Anti-rotate. Swinging your arms allows your body to absorb the rotational force that moves through us when we walk, climb, run, or move in general. Our arms are meant to move when we move, but we hold them down with cell phones, bags, strollers, or poor breathing habits. These exercises help to keep our bodies functioning as they should.

Hinge. For when you need to move furniture or lift a heavy box.

Lunge. For the stairs.

My Own Experience With Hashimoto’s

What had lead me to investigate the best possible plan for those with Hashimoto’s is my own experience. Until about 18 months ago when my son was born, I thought I had been living an optimal lifestyle – and in many ways I was. However, post pregnancy I was feeling much more fatigued than I thought I should, Monday’s felt just like a Friday after a long work week, I felt inflamed and sore, and I just couldn’t seem to lose weight.

What I discovered through my functional medicine doctor was that I had picked up a parasite while in Bali. Through bloodwork, it was discovered that I additionally had some heavy metal toxicity and food intolerances.

Hashimoto’s & Diet

I have since removed gluten, dairy, sugar, and high histamine foods (look these up!) from my diet. This elimination process has helped to clear up much of the eczema I had developed, and I was feeling about 80% better than I had initially reported.

After much research I began strength training. Strength training is recommended because cardio and stretching can leave those with Hashimoto’s feeling beat up for days – naturally causing us to feel like working out is not the answer.

When I focused on compound movements I began to feel improvements in my own stability and strength. Initially my knees were hyperextending causing me to feel unstable, anxious, and ungrounded. The unstable joints and tissue laxity was causing anxiety because I was feeling so unstable in my body. My own workouts started 2 times a week, and I gradually moved up to 3 times a week.

Overtraining is Not The Solution

Over training through cardio, you can push your body into adrenal fatigue. Lifting heavy weights, but low reps (typically 5 reps of perfect form) and breaks in between are where you will find the best results.

We focus on a 3 part approach which includes:

  1. Breath – breathing down and wide.
  2. Braced – referring to the ‘tank of strength’ where the ribs remain stacked over the pelvis.
  3. Stacked – the need of good core stability in which your ribs remain parallel over your pelvis, along with your ‘ears over shoulders over hips’ approach.

The End Result

The purpose here is to provide a real solution for every person to beat Hashimoto’s. Women can be given the tools to beat fatigue, feel strong,  and regain their confidence. This is done through the assistance of;

  1. functional medicine
  2. endocrinologists and,
  3. your chiropractic team

Improving your breathing, core stability, and strength training in addition to a functional medicine approach will give you the results you are looking for.

I hope you have found this information helpful. And, please follow up with one of the chiropractors here at Urban Wellness Clinic if you have any questions regarding your own personal healing process.