Exercise can be helpful for those with an underactive thyroid. It can boost a slow metabolism and burn calories, on a frame that is prone to putting on unwanted weight. Endorphins and other friendly chemicals are also released during exercise.
Yoga stretches and strengthens core muscles. It can reduce pain in the back and hips that may be experienced with hypothyroidism.
Lisa Lilienfield, MD, a thyroid disease specialist at the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, Virginia, and a certified yoga instructor, encourages those with thyroid disorders to engage in exercise.
Because people with hypothyroidism may struggle with exhaustion, Lilienfield recommends that beginning an exercise program should be slow and gentle, which makes yoga a good place to start.
As patients progress, she says that they may experience a reduction in symptoms such as depression, excess weight and fatigue.
Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona, said in an article on Drweil.com that positive reports have come from many patients who have found the shoulder stand to be beneficial. This is a yoga pose that is intended to boost circulation to the thyroid.
He cautions pregnant women and women who are nursing not do this pose. People with glaucoma, high blood pressure or sinus problems should not do the shoulder stand.
Merel Martens, a yoga instructor in Dharamsala, India, and founder of Parimukti Yoga & Meditation said that yoga may help to balance the endocrine system.
In an article on Everydayhealth.com, she said that the fish pose, the plow pose, and the shoulder stand are yoga positions that may be beneficial for the massage the thyroid gland, and greater blood flow.
1) Shoulder Stand — Sarvangasana
Start out on your back with arm at your sides, palms facing up.
Raise your legs, right angle to the floor. Raise your hips until your chin rests on your chest. Support yourself with hands on hips, and your upper arms and elbows on the floor.
Your neck and shoulders need to be flat on the floor. Keep your torso and legs as straight as you can.