Exercise must be done in moderation. Otherwise, it will only bring additional stress to your body and impair the thyroid's proper functioning. The thyroid gland is responsible for releasing hormones in the body. These hormones regulate metabolism, breathing, heart rate, central and peripheral nervous systems, body weight, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, body temperatures, and cholesterol levels, to name a few. Once the thyroid gland is damaged, many bodily functions will be affected.
Symptoms of overtraining are similar to that of thyroid dysfunction and are often seen in lab test results of athletes. However, athletes have coaches and exercise programs to follow. This means they have a way of destressing their bodies, and avoiding overtraining. Casual exercisers, on the other hand, follow no particular science when working out, and are more prone to over-exertion during exercise.
Cortisol stress hormones are naturally produced by your body when you exercise as a response to a training stressor. For as long as it's kept to a minimum, there shouldn't be an issue. However, high levels of cortisol are released in the body when you overtrain, which is bad news for your thyroid.
When cortisol levels are high, it can cause more inflammation in the body. If this happens, the TSH hormones responsible for sending messages between the brain and the thyroid are affected, and the thyroid fails to function properly.
Too much stress can adversely affect your thyroid, which may cause symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, low libido, low mood, cold hands and feet, etc.
In other words, the belief that exercising hard for extended periods of time is a good way to destress is false. It's actually bringing more harm to your body.
There are many factors which can negatively affect thyroid function. It's important to know and understand them to be able to turn the tables around before it's too late. Some of them include:
Exercising greatly helps in addressing thyroid issues, as long as it's done the right way, in moderate amounts. Health experts recommend going for slow and continuous workouts and prioritize weight-lifting.
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