Working out every day while managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid is a great way to support your immune system (as long as you’re not over training). However, recent studies show if you’re sitting the rest of the time, you are still subject to the same negative effects of “sitting disease.” Luckily you can do something about it by getting up and moving every half hour or so.
The good news about this research for patients with Hashimoto’s still coping with exhaustion is it means you don’t have to be a athleteci superstar to reap the benefits of moving little bits throughout the day.
Exercise doesn’t make up for too much sitting
With our sedentary screen-based lives today, athletes today gets less exercise than non-athletes of the past. The average person — even those who exercise daily — spends an incredible 7 to 9 hours each day sitting, whether for work, TV watching, or driving.
Sitting this much puts us at significant risk for health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, increased risk of dementia, and early death, and the risk increases the more you sit. As you can imagine, these risks do not bode well for someone working to manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism either, as they tie back to increased inflammation.
Too much sitting leads to joint stiffness, back pain, disk damage, digestive issues, insulin resistance, flabby muscles, and poor circulation. All of these conditions worsen an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Simple lifestyle changes create big changes in health
According to the research, sitting for more than 2 hours at a time is unhealthy. Researhers recommend standing up and moving every 30 minutes to protect your health. This means you don’t have to be a crossfit athlete to lower your disease risk and better manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Basic physical activity such as standing and walking are more vital to good health than most people realize. They support the body’s metabolism and use more daily energy than moderate-to-high intensity activities. Moving throughout the day boosts metabolism, improves circulation, regulates blood pressure, tones muscles, deters chronic pain, improves bone health, and increases energy. This helps prevent disease.
Below are ways you can avoid sitting disease. For the Hashimoto’s low thyroid patient, incorporate these habits to better manage autoimmune Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Daily habits that reduce sitting disease risks
- Do a few jumping jacks or pushups during breaks (great for mental clarity too).
- Stand while on the phone, at breaks, or lunch.
- Walk to the next bus stop.
- Walk to communicate with coworkers instead of messaging.
- Invite coworkers to walking meetings.
- Use an exercise ball as a chair.
- Try a standing desk, treadmill-ready desk, or a high table or countertop.
- Walk or bike to work.
- Move around for one to three minutes every half hour at work.
- Use an app or quiet alarm to remind you to take movement breaks.
- If you’re watching TV, stand during commercials
- Stand to do chores.
- Get up and move every 30 minutes.
- Do stretching or easy yoga 10 minutes a day.
- Limit your TV/computer sitting time.
Out and about
- Drive less, walk and bike more.
- Walk your dog more often.
- Plan active meetups with friends instead of sitting to socialize.
- Join a club or meetup focused on physical hobbies like frisbee, birding, or dog-walking.
- Don’t park so close.
- Walk or bike instead of driving.
- Take the stairs.
- Do chores and yard work manually.
- Take the long way around.
Use this handy online metabolic calculator. For more advice on managing your Hashimoto’s low thyroid, please contact my office.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.