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Exercise and Nutrition for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

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Written by Hayleigh Bennett

Eat Run Lift's HIIT and female weight loss specialist. Hayleigh is exclusively available as an online coach.
Learn more about Hayleigh here >

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Hashimoto’s Disease, or Thyroiditis, is a condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. It is an autoimmune condition that can cause symptoms of weight gain, fatigue, joint and muscle pain.

Through appropriate exercise and recovery methods it is possible to lose weight and/or gain lean muscle mass when diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.

Although the excess stress from exercise can cause fatigue, worsened thyroid function, depressed immunity, increased risk of injury and raised inflammation – it is important to know your own limits when training.

 

 

Training Methods

There are two suitable training methods suitable for those with Hashimoto’s Disease:
Short sessions of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training); and
Weight training with heavy weights and low repetitions.

Short and high intensity workouts such as HIIT will ensure (often limited) energy is dispersed quickly – which means the 30 minutes you had set aside for training can be shortened to 10-15 minutes, giving yourself an increased recovery time.

You’ll know you have trained well if you are breaking a sweat around the 3 minute mark, breathing deeply and rapidly, and hitting 70% or greater of your max. heart rate (220 – age in years = max. heart rate).

Take advantage of the body’s natural cortisol surge in the morning by getting to the gym or completing some at-home training within 10-30 minutes of waking up – before breakfast. It is easier to burn fat during this time, completing fasted will help reduce insulin resistance.

Training the larger muscle groups can increase overall lean muscle mass. Heavier weights are better for your metabolism in low to mid range repetitions.

Constant repetitions of 20+ can cause bad Achilles tendonitis or shoulder problems.
Make sure to work your way up in weights rather than starting heavy – a personal trainer is best to assist you with this.

 

 

Over-Training

Over exercising can heighten symptoms of Hashimoto’s, including:
Increased inflammation,
Fatigued adrenals,
Excess bad gut bacteria; and
Leaky gut
(where undigested foods, bacteria, yeast and other pathogens enter the blood stream).

Appropriate exercise boosts the chemicals in the body that improve brain function, increase overall well-being and raise energy levels. There are some pre-exiting factors that will increase your vulnerability to over training with Hashimoto’s such as low-high cortisol levels, systematic inflammation, immune weakness, nutrient deficiencies and obesity.

If you are unsure whether you are over training or just simply experiencing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), you may notice that you are experiencing lengthy recovery times or being in a state where you can not imagine getting out of bed the following day due to joint and/or muscle pain.

You may also notice that although you are consistently training, your performance is declining, muscle strength is decreasing, and you are experiencing a lack or loss in motivation and enthusiasm to train.

Aim to feel refreshed and energised after each training session! Taking time to recover is extremely important – especially when it comes to sleeping.

Adequate sleep will encourage muscle repair, improve the metabolic system and help your brain to recharge. It’s important to adopt a lifestyle that will support your diet, exercise and supplementation in order to feel your best and to slow the progress of the autoimmune disease.

 

 

Nutrition

Nutrient timing for training is important whether you have an autoimmune disease or not. For those with Hashimoto’s disease it is best to consume a drink of electrolytes before training (avoid sugary ‘sports drink’ options) and look into supplementing with n-acetyl l-carnitine.

Post workout you’ll be best to consume something that will aid in reducing inflammation such as turmeric, alongside another drink of electrolytes.

*It is necessary to eliminate sugars, processed foods and minimise or remove gluten, diary, corn, rice and other simple carbohydrates from your diet.

*Focus on nourishing your body with good quality meats, vegetables (organic where possible) and good fats such as avocados, olive oil and coconut oil.

*Protein is also important and should be consumed at 1.5-2g per kilogram of body weight (around 40% of your diet).

If you feel as though you are eating nutritious and ‘clean’ foods but not experiencing any benefits you may want to consider food sensitivity testing. Probiotics and fermented foods can also encourage a balance of bacterial flora.

 

Macro & Micro-Nutrients

Our bodies need macro and micronutrients to thrive! If you are malnourishing it by under-eating or following a high calorie deficit your body will sabotage any progress by slowing down the metabolism or causing you to have cravings and even feel hungry when you have had enough.

The most common nutrient deficiencies in people with Hashimoto’s are:
B vitamins,
Selenium,
Magnesium,
Vitamin D; and
Ferritin.

 


References

Kalanick, B. (2015, January) When Exercise Harms Your Thyroid, Bottom Line Health. Retrieved from https://bottomlineinc.com/health/thyroid/exercise-harms-thyroid

Dr. Wentz, I. (2018, January) How to Lose Weight With Hashimoto’s, Thyroid Pharmacist. Retrieved from https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/how-to-lose-weight-with-hashimotos/

Ryan, M. (2014) How to Exercise With Hashimoto’s, Hashimoto’s Healing. Retrieved from https://hashimotoshealing.com/how-to-exercise-with-hashimotos/

(2017, May) Extreme Exercise is Good for You Right? Not if You Have Hashimoto’s, Functional Medicine; Functional Health News. Retrieved from http://functionalhealthnews.com/2017/05/extreme-exercise-is-good-for-you-right-not-exactly/

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The Correct Way To Warm Up Before Weights

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Written by Hayleigh Bennett

Eat Run Lift's HIIT and female weight loss specialist. Hayleigh is exclusively available as an online coach.
Learn more about Hayleigh here >

Instagram - Blog 

 

 

How often have you skipped a warm up before a weights or resistance training session, simply because you:

a) Don’t know what to do;
b) Don’t have the time;
c) Don’t think it’s necessary; or
d) All of the above

If you can relate to any of those, you’ll want to read on.

 

Let’s start with the why; why do we need to warm up before a weights session?

We need to prepare our body for exercise by increasing our heart rate, loosening our joints and increasing blood flow and circulation. We need to perform a warm up prior to training to increase the blood flow to our muscles, which enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients, and promotes the energy releasing reactions used during exercise. Warming up also raises our muscle’s temperature (hence the term ‘warm up’) for optimal flexibility and efficiency.

 

So, does that mean we just need to do a few extra km’s on the treadmill?

Not necessarily, there are multiple ways to help our body prepare for a weights training session.

 

Dynamic Stretches

These aren’t just your average stretches – what we need to achieve with dynamic stretching is activation! Dynamic stretches mimic sports-like movements, prepare the body for activity and increase range of movement (ROM). Unlike static stretches, the end position of the stretch is not held therefore is felt further with each motion. Some examples of dynamic stretches include walking lunges, arm swings/circles, plank windmill/twist, toe touches, hip raises, high knees and bear crawls.

 

Joint Mobility Exercises

We’d all be lying if we said we didn’t want to jump higher, run faster and move without pain. All of this can be made possible by increasing our range of motion through joint mobility exercises. Increasing the flexibility in our muscles and tendons allow for a greater ROM. Joint mobility exercises are similar to that of dynamic stretching or stretching while moving through movement. Examples of these exercises include walking hip openers and thoracic spine windmills on the floor.

 

Progressive Overload

This is something that we do during our training, so think of it as a pre-exercise warm up – or a gradual increase in intensity during sets. In order for our muscles to grow we need to provide them with stressors to adapt to. Start with your bare minimum, whether it’s body weigh bench dips, squats using a barbell without weights or using the 4kg weights before hitting the heavier weights for your bent over rows. This will assist in preparing your body through the proper range of movement to achieve hypertrophy, strength, power and endurance. This is when it can be important to write stuff down: click through to Rachel Aust’s #plantraincreate journal.

 

Conditioning

Try to keep conditioning as your warm up to a minimum – after all, we want our weights to be the thing that takes up our strength and energy! Skipping, walking with gradual incline on a treadmill, step-ups or using the step machine should be kept to 2-5 minutes before training and are better kept for your HIIT sessions. If you find that you have some energy left after your training and before static stretching you can add your 2km row here. After all, it’s shampoo (exercise) and then conditioner.

 

Completing a warm up is essential for the time (and sweat) you are putting in to your weights training. Make sure to avoid static stretching (where you hold the stretch in one place for a few seconds) cold muscles before your session by opting for dynamic stretching. Spending 3 – 5 minutes before your training session to increase your blood flow will increase your range of motion, help decrease muscle stiffness and lower the risk of injury (see my 7 Trainer Approved Tips to Prevent Injury here!).


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10 Tips for Getting Fit on a Budget

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Written by Hayleigh Bennett

Eat Run Lift's HIIT and female weight loss specialist. Hayleigh is exclusively available as an online coach.
Learn more about Hayleigh here >

Instagram - Blog 

 

 

Whether you’re a student, saving for a holiday or already spent your hard-earned money on a pair of training shoes (no seriously, these are important!!) exercising on a budget is super easy! You don’t always need weights to achieve your goals.

 

1. Exercise From Home

Body-weight exercises come in many variations, and simple home equipment such as resistance bands and skipping ropes can make a huge difference. Most of these things can be found on Amazon or at discount stores, even your local Buy/Sell/Swap page might have something available.

 

2. Get Out There

There are so many great ways to get fit for free! Try walking or jogging laps around your local sporting ground, swimming laps at the beach, go for a bush walk or hike – not only will you burn up some energy, but you can also get some enviable snaps to share on social media of lush rainforest or waterfalls. Outdoor gyms are also popping up all of the time – hello muscle beach!

 

3. Group Exercise

Whether it’s at a training studio, gym, or youth center – there are so many different options available when it comes to group training. Maybe it’s a group of 2-5 with a personal trainer or something bigger like mall walking. Some workplaces even have a corporate fitness program in place – if not, why not! Get in touch with a trainer local to you to see if they can get the ball rolling.

 

4. Apps & Journals

There are so many apps to choose from that are either free or very affordable. Apps such as Lifesum and My Fitness Pal will help you to track your nutrition, or a journal, such as Rachel's Train Journal, will help hold you accountable and on the right way towards your goals.

 

5. YouTube

There are so many fitness specialists sharing their knowledge on YouTube – Rachel Aust has a number of different workouts including at-home and gym options. My fave? Her full body toning workout routine that can be done at home – click me to follow through! Be warned, some routines may not be safe – be sure to keep an eye for the videos that have a higher rating.

 

6. Cut The Junk!

How much is it hurting not only your budget but also your waistline each time that you’re ordering from a fast food chain? Especially when it’s so convenient to have the food delivered to you. Cut it out! Healthy food isn’t expensive – in Australia you can find fresh produce such as carrots for $1.50/kilo and tuna at 99c a tin.

 

7. Drink Water

I feel like this should be obvious. It’s basically free. Opt for a reusable bottle and you will save hundreds, if not thousands – not to mention you’ll reduce your one-use-plastic footprint.

 

8. Discounts

A lot of online stores will offer a discount when you sign up to their mailing list (we offer a 15% discount for everyone on our list!) – plus you’ll be the first to hear about their exclusive offers. After a name brand pair of tights but can’t quite afford them? Wait for the end of season sales to snap up a bargain!

 

9. Change Your Routine

Park further away from the shop front, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get off the bus earlier, cycle or roller blade to work or school… get up 15 minutes earlier and give it a go.

 

10. Online Community

Accountability – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Have someone else keep you accountable! Get a workout buddy, share your progress on social media, read fitness blogs (you’re already off to a great start), join a group challenge and have some fun with it.