Regardless of what exercise you are doing, any exercise is going to aid you in boosting your metabolism through a workout and after. When you are struggling with a slow thyroid though, exercise can seem like quite the task and the last thing you may want to do is step on the treadmill or elliptical just to do the same repetitive actions for 45 minutes for a workout.
When you are able to work out, there are ways you can benefit your body and keep your metabolism burning calories and fat longer after you are finished. The right exercises, changing it up, and avoiding the tired treadmill or bike routine can give you more energy, a better attitude, and a better night’s sleep.
What kinds of exercises boost your metabolism?
A simple understanding of how your body uses energy will help you to motivate yourself to get through a more vigorous exercise routine. A pound of muscle utilizes about 6 calories per day just to sustain itself while a pound of fat only utilizes 2 calories per day. So, building muscle will cause you to use more calories that you take in without ever really trying. This means you need to lift weights to build muscle.
Building muscle doesn’t mean you have to go into the gym, though. Using your body weight is one of the most efficient things you can do to strengthen and tone your muscle and shred fat. Body weight exercises can be completed at home, in a small space where you feel comfortable. However, if you have a gym membership, most gyms have rubber matted floors or spaces where you can go to perform these body weight exercises.
A quick search will have plenty of examples of how to perform these exercises:
- Planks (side planks, forearm planks)
- Pike walk out
- Prisoner squats (one legged squats, wall sits)
- Lunges (diagonal lunge, side lunge)
- Glute bridges (one or two legged)
- Leg raises (six inches or one leg at a time)
- Balancing birds (one leg)
- Mountain climbers
- Situps (V Ups, alternating knee-elbow touches)
- Bird dogs
- Yoga poses (Warrior pose, triangle pose)
You should also look into any high intensity aerobic activity you can join, either in class form or by yourself.
The internet is a great place to find videos that you can use to your advantage to dance, kick, or punch yourself into a sweat.
High intensity aerobic activities will elevate your heart rate quickly, and keep the calories burning for hours after your workout. High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is very popular at fitness facilities in lieu of tedious and long cardio workouts. High intensity interval training allows you to elevate your heart rate for short bursts and then return to a slower pace until you are ready to do the next burst. The ratios of high intensity to slow intensity can be anywhere from 1:2 to 1:8, whatever you are ready for.
An example of a HIIT workout that you can perform even at home:
- 50 situps, 1 min rest
- 40 jumping jacks, 1 min rest
- 30 pushups, 1 min rest
- 20 split jumps, 1 min rest
- 10 tricep dips, 1 min rest
- 30 seconds burpees
If you are feeling ambitious, repeat it two or three times, because it won’t take you that long!
Making sure you are staying hydrated, even when you are not exercising is very important to thyroid health. Your body processes are fueled by water intake, and even when you are not sweating, your body is losing moisture through your skin. Exercise speeds up the rate at which you normally lose water, so aim on replacing that during and right after a workout. You should be taking in:
- 15 to 20 ounces of water one to two hours before a workout
- 8 to 10 ounces right before a workout
- 8 ounces per every 15 minutes of vigorous exercise
If you are weighing yourself before and after exercising and notice you’ve lost weight, don’t be too excited. What you have lost right then and there is just water weight, and you should replace it. For every pound lost, you should replace is with 16-20 ounces of water. Hydrating is essential for those struggling with a sluggish thyroid. In order for the thyroid to produce hormones and for them to be circulated throughout your body, water is key