For those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, trying to find the best treatment plan can be a bit difficult. Hashimoto’s Disease causes hypothyroidism, which means your thyroid gland will not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. This leads to the type of weight gain that can not be simply exercised away, unless your disease is being properly managed with medication. Once the disease is under control by medication, the next step is to learn what foods to eat, and how to exercise safely.
Exercising with Hashimoto’s Disease
The key to exercising with Hashimoto’s Disease is to work within your abilities and make progressive steps to better health. Cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching will have significant beneficial effects – both short and long term. When you are properly medicated exercise and proper nutrition will help you lose weight and get in better shape. If you are not properly medicated though, you may experience weight gain or no change in body fat. There are numerous types of exercise programs out there, but we find steady, progressive exercise to be the best solution.
Hashimoto’s Disease and Cardiovascular exercise
When following a cardiovascular conditioning program, the key is to start with something attainable. You have to start slow (perhaps a walk or slow jog), for a steady pace, preferably over a longer duration. As your body begins to adapt to that you can begin adding in short bursts of speed (faster walking or jogging). As your body begins to adjust to this activity (within 2 – 3 months) you should begin a more formal level of interval training. When interval training you should focus on specific periods of time of a slow/moderate speed and fast speed. (The definition of slow, moderate, and fast is defined by your personal abilities; please do not compare yourself to others.) As you track your progress over time, your specific periods of slow/moderate and fast will adjust to a more aggressive plan, and your speed will also be adjusted. The type of activity you are doing (outside running, treadmill, outdoor cycling, elliptical, stationary bike) will be determined based on likes and dislikes and your personal ability. With a steady, consistent program you should notice drastic changes in your cardiovascular levels in 3 – 6 months.
Hashimoto’s Disease and Strength Training
When designing a strength training program for those with an autoimmune disease, the design and progression are crucial to how you feel throughout your program. A program that is too aggressive will leave you fatigue and feeling defeated, while a program that does not push you to advance will often end up boring. The key is to find a workout that is in between the two and is progressed consistently over time.
Our method of personal training involves a focus on stability, strength, and power, and includes a combination of repetition (in order for you to learn the exercises you are doing) and progression (so you can keep making progress). We do this by altering your sets, reps, tempo, and stability (base of support). Our goal at first is to focus on a few different workouts so you can learn how to exercise properly. Each 4-6 weeks we introduce a new phase of training to your program to ensure you are learning a variety of exercise and training techniques. This approach allows a combination of consistency and progression, and allows you the opportunity to begin exercising on your own.
Nutrition and Hashimoto’s Disease
If your Hashimoto’s Disease has been a battle for some time, there is a good chance you need to lose weight. We do not believe in crash or fad diets. Our approach is to teach you the proper way to eat for your body to ensure you achieve the best results possible.
There is a lot of mis-information online, and often times it leads to frustration in the end. If you are dealing with Hashimoto’s Disease, talk to us about a program that is safe and effective for you. We are the only fitness professionals in Katy that will take the time to communicate with your medical provider to ensure you have a program that they are pleased with. We believe it is important to work with your medical team to give you the best results possible.
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