As you know, it can be VERY difficult to exercise when your thyroid issues make you feel tired all the time. It can be even more difficult when you work full time, commute, and are also involved in community theater (yes, this is my life right now!). Even though it’s hard to muster the energy to exercise, I know I have to do it in order to have energy to make it through my day. What works for me is to exercise at home, and usually before leaving the house for the day. We have a treadmill, free weights, and a wide variety of types and lengths of DVDs so that no matter what I’m in the mood for or how much time I have, there’s always something that fits. See my tips here.
It’s worth noting that I took some time off from exercising and indulged in a bit too much of the wrong kinds of foods around the holidays. Because of those choices, my immune system was weakened, and I had a cold for two weeks which kept me from exercising. That just reaffirms why it’s so important to exercise and eat a healthy diet consistently, especially if you have a health condition that affects your immune system.
The plan is to post my workouts each week to keep myself accountable, and to remind myself that it’s not worth it to skip a workout or indulge in foods that aren’t healthy (with only occasional exceptions).
That said, here’s the workouts I did this week:
- Sunday and Monday: I didn’t work out. I had been battling a cold for two weeks, and was stuffed up and not feeling well.
- Tuesday: 30 minute walk on the treadmill. Started at 3.4 mph, increased speed by .2pmh every 3 minutes until I got to 4 mph, then I increased the incline every 3 minutes up to 3.0 feet. When I got to 24 minutes I decreased the incline by 1 and the speed by .2 mph every minute until the end of the 30 minutes.
- Wednesday: I almost didn’t work out because I woke up with a sinus headache. But, I dragged myself out of bed and did a 20 minute routine from This is Yoga by Tara Stiles – Yoga for Strength & Flexibility. It was well worth it! My headache cleared up and I felt better for the rest of the day.
- Thursday: 30 minutes from 10 Minute Solutions Rapid Results Pilates with Lara Hudson. I completed the Legs, Arms, & Abs segments (10 minutes each).
- Friday: woke up with a sinus headache again, ugh! It’s been super-cold here, so either that’s bringing in an allergen or it’s residual from the cold I had. Didn’t drag myself out of bed to work out, and the headache lasted until after the Kundalini yoga routine I did when I got home from work. I try to do this type of yoga at least once a week. It’s great for glandular balance, which is important for those of us with thyroid issues (or any hormonal imbalance for that matter). This specific workout was by Anna Bret & Ravi Singh, called Yoga Cleanse – Lighten Up and Purify. I completed the warm up and the Tear Out the Toxins segment.
- Saturday: 30 minutes on the treadmill (same method I used Tuesday). Let me tell you – I didn’t want to do anything other than sit on the couch and watch TV. I almost decided to do just that, but instead I peeled myself off the couch and got on the treadmill. Afterwards, my energy level went up enough to get a few things done. I washed my makeup brushes, did dishes, and laundry.
A normal person might look at these workouts and think: “that’s all you did?” On the other hand, a person with a thyroid problem might think something more along the lines of “how did you have the energy to get through all that?” To those of us with hypothyroidism, it can seem daunting and practically impossible to work out even once, let alone six days in a row. It doesn’t have to be. Making it through a short, non-intense workout can give you the energy boost you need to get through the day and have the energy to do more the next day!
Please keep in mind it’s important to be realistic. If you’re unable to make it through the day without napping, don’t expect to run a marathon in a few weeks. Instead, try 10 minutes of yoga and build slowly from there. Find that balance between working out enough to give yourself energy but not so much that you put excessive stress on your endocrine system. Only you will know where that is for you. Right now, for me, doing short, low intensity workouts is key. The plan is to stick with it for a few weeks then gradually increase my intensity level.
Feel free share your experiences in the comments below. What works to keep you motivated? What excuses do you give yourself to indulge or not to exercise? How do you talk yourself out of excuses?