When there is lack of energy and a lowered metabolism, it is not unusual for a person to stop exercising. Then, weight gain follows. Usually, it is recommended to get the thyroid hormone levels under control before you start an exercise program. The physician needs to be consulted to see if a stress test is necessary.
You should ask if there are any restrictions on exercise. If there are restrictions, ask what can be done and if there is a cardiac rehabilitation center available. You can find programs that offer an individualized treatment plan to build up strength. The exercise is safely done in a monitored setting.
A stress test may be done to make sure your heart is in good condition and that an exercise program will be tolerated. You may be asked not to consume food or beverages that contain caffeine for a day before. Usually, your heart and blood pressure are monitored while exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle.
Working with a professional for exercise can help you establish what a good heart rate (beats/minute) should be as you exercise. They will teach you how to monitor your pulse rate as you exercise, and after. You should also learn proper exercise techniques for warm ups, workouts, and cool downs.
If you have physician clearance to exercise, always ask what exercise is best. Usually, if there are no restrictions, a walking program is good to start. Using a pedometer or step counter is very helpful to monitor daily activity. Add steps every day as you can. Ten thousand steps a day is approximately 5 miles, and a goal that is recommended by many health care providers. If resistance exercise is recommended, do not use any equipment unless you have been properly trained to help prevent injury.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, at least 60–90 minutes of exercise per day is necessary for many people to lose and maintain weight. They provide videos and specific exercise guidelines for Americans of all ages. Go to their website for help with an exercise program.
Many patients complain that they just can't lose weight with hypothyroidism. The key to weight loss is proper thyroid levels, a healthy individualized diet plan, and the proper amount of exercise. When these key items are controlled, you will be ahead of the pack in maintaining your health!