Jumpstart your thyroid with this short and heart-pumping HIIT workout.
HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is an exercise approach that couples short bursts of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity rest periods. Regardless of what level you’re working at, this effective workout method can help improve cardiovascular health and build muscle mass. (1)
This type of exercise is great for multiple reasons. First, the short bursts of high-intensity exercise allow you to work harder, making your workouts more time-efficient. Secondly, the intensity of exercise and length of rest periods can be modified for any level. In fact, low-volume HIIT training might even be more effective in decreasing cardiovascular risk factors in patients with metabolic disorders, like insulin resistance and thyroid disease.
Unfortunately, metabolic conditions like hypothyroidism are significantly more prevalent in people over the age of 50, with women being affected the most. Luckily, studies show that adding a low-volume HIIT workout to your routine can help to improve thyroid hormone levels, as well as burn more fat, lower blood pressure, and improve energy levels. (3) The workout below includes easy exercises to gently get your heart rate up, building body strength and stimulating your thyroid.
5-Minute HIIT Workout to Fix a Sluggish Thyroid
Do each exercise for 20 seconds to get your heart rate up, followed by 40 seconds of walking in place to lower your heart rate back down. You can repeat this circuit one or two times.
Repeat this HIIT workout for thyroid health up to five times per week.
High Knee March | 20 sec
This exercise will gently get your heart rate up, increasing circulation to the thyroid, and warming up the core, arms, and legs.
- Begin standing. Engage your abs and stand up tall.
- March in place by lifting one leg up high while swinging your opposite arm forward.
- Continue pumping your arms and bringing your knees up high as you continue for 20 seconds.
Arm Crossover with Butt Kick | 20 sec
This cardio exercise will gently increase your heart rate, get your blood flowing, and strengthen the shoulders and arms.
- Stand with your feet a little wider than hips-width distance. Engage your abs and reach your arms out to the sides in a low T shape.
- Inhale, then exhale to cross your right arm over your left in front of your chest. At the same time, kick your right heel to your butt.
- Inhale to come back to the starting position. Exhale to switch sides, crossing your left arm over your right and kicking your left heel to your butt.
- Continue switching sides, moving quickly for 20 seconds.
Squat with Hip Abduction | 20 sec
This exercise strengthens your lower body while keeping your heart rate high.
- Stand with your feet a little wider than hips-width distance and turn your toes out slightly. Bring your hands to heart center and engage your abs.
- Inhale to sit your hips back into a squat. Keep your knees bent and chest lifted with shoulders back and down. The weight should be mostly in your heels.
- Exhale to stand up, squeeze your glutes, and lift one leg straight out to the side, keeping your hips facing forward.
- Inhale to come back to the squat. On your exhale, stand up, squeeze your glutes, and lift the other leg straight out to the side. Continue alternating sides for 20 seconds.
Side Skaters | 20 sec
This cardio exercise improves coordination while strengthening the lower body.
- Begin standing up. Engage your abs and squeeze your shoulders down your back.
- Step your left foot back and cross it behind your right leg. Bring a small bend into both knees to come into a light curtsy lunge. Keep your right knee stacked over your ankle. Tap your left hand toward your right knee while keeping your chest upright.
- Then, step or lightly hop your left leg out to the side, shifting your weight into your left foot. Cross your right leg behind your left to come into your curtsy lunge on the other side.
- Continue quickly alternating sides for 20 seconds.
Chair Mountain Climbers | 20 sec
This modified version of a classic exercise gets your blood circulating while strengthening your upper body and core.
- Stand in front of a chair or bench. Place your hands on the seat of your chair and walk your feet back so that there is a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Engage your abs.
- On an exhale, bend your right knee in towards your chest. Squeeze your abs.
- Inhale to step the foot back in line with your left foot. Exhale to bring your left leg in towards your chest.
- Continue quickly alternating legs for 20 seconds.
Tip: If this is too challenging, place your hands up on a wall instead of the chair.