Thyroid UK
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Exercise advice

Hello, I was wondering if anyone had any advice/experience in regard to exercise with an underactive thyroid? I know that I am currently outside of normal TSH range (TSH 8) and am 2 weeks into an increased Levo dose - I was on a starter dose of 50mg and this has been increased to 75mg. I have not felt the benefit of this increase yet and am more tired than ever.

I am lucky in that I haven't noticed any massive weight increase, perhaps a couple of pounds, but I haven't exercised since July 2016 as I've been too tired. Although I haven't changed dress size I have lost a lot of condition and toning, I feel like I would feel much more like myself if I can get this back.

Should I be pushing myself to get back into some kind of routine? I'm not sure if it's a case of 'listen to your body, if you're tired then rest' or if I will feel better if I force myself to start moving more? I had thought I would wait until my blood results all came back ok but it sounds like really that could take months to fine tune.

I've never particularly enjoyed running but used to really like lights weights/body pump and swimming and am keen to return to this but I'm scared that I risk setting myself back further if I push myself too hard.

3 Replies


Exercise depletes T3 and until your TSH is down to around 1.0 your FT4 and FT3 will be low. I wouldn't push yourself until you feel better but there's no reason why you shouldn't do gentle exercise like walking and swimming when you feel like it.


i wouldnt push my self either until you feel better.relax as soon as you feel better everything is going to be ok:)

also few pounds is not a problem. i m sure you look fine

what about walkinglike for half an hour everyday for a start

swimming seems hard

1 like

I waited until my TSH was around 1 before I got seriously into the exercise. I had put on a stone in weight since having my hemithyroidectomy so I felt huge and uncomfortable. I had been lucky to be able eat what I wanted until then.

I started walking the dog eventually. Upping to a fast walk. As soon as I felt I was in a good place I picked up the exercise really gradually with interval training and weights. At times I didn't feel like it but felt so much better afterwards and I worked up to four days with a day off in between.

I did two tough mudders and a day with the SAS last year. My joints weren't too happy at times but I just took it a little easier then.

I've been struggling this winter mainly due to stress at work and being Carer for my mum and put all the weight back on but I intend to get back on it in the better weather. It made me feel alive so I hope you can but think you might need to get better levels first.

All best luck xx


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