5 Ways To Get Outside and Move Your Body (Even in Winter)

By: Andrea Wool

Average read time: 1.5 minutes

For people with thyroid dysfunction, two things have been shown to help: Vitamin D and exercise. Research shows that vitamin D deficiency is a common factor among people with hypothyroidism and vitamin D supplementation has been proven to help increase thyroid function (1). Additionally, exercise has been shown to increase thyroid function by increasing the levels of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream (2, 3).

So, let’s get outside and move our bodies! You’ll get a little sunshine for great vitamin D exposure, and you’ll get exercise. These things not only benefit your thyroid function but also boost your cardiovascular system, lymph system, central nervous system, and musculoskeletal system.

Well…what are you waiting for?

Getting outside sounds easy enough, but let’s face it; it can be a challenge, especially in colder months with challenging weather. For some, our lives get so busy with work and family that we struggle to find time to get outdoors. We work through our lunch breaks, and hang out at our desks all day. For others, our bodies are in so much pain that it can be hard to push ourselves to get outside—it’s easier and more comfortable to stay indoors. For various reasons, getting our bodies outdoors can be just plain hard.

How to get yourself outdoors

Here are 5 ways to get outside and move your body so that you can feel better and reap the thyroid-boosting benefits.

  1. Morning Stretches: Many people take good care of themselves by stretching their bodies in the morning. It’s a great way to reduce pain in your body and get ready to start the day. I encourage you to think about doing your morning stretches outside! The early morning sun will wake you up and help you feel more connected to your circadian rhythms.
  2. Go For A Walk: Walking is a great way to get outside in the sun and move your body without too much strain, and in many kinds of weather (with proper gear and footwear, of course). A quick walk at lunchtime, instead of eating at your desk, can improve your mood, help you digest your lunch, and increase your afternoon activity!
  3. Afternoon Yoga: I love doing some afternoon yoga in the sun before it sets. In winter, you can improvise and move this indoors, adding a vitamin D sunlamp to help offset the early sunset time.
  4. For More Intensity: If you benefit from workouts with a little more intensity, it can be a great way to turn up the heat when the temperature is low. Burpees, squats, jumping jacks, high knee kicks, pushups, and planks are all exercises you can do outdoors for a higher intensity workout. And it can be quick—a good workout can happen in 10-15 minutes!
  5. Play Like a Kid: Last but not least, I encourage you to play outdoors. Get inspired by kids, who play outside all day without structured “play time”. Climbing a play structure, going sledding, kicking a ball against the wall, or finding a pickup soccer game…these are ways to make exercise fun without it feeling like a chore.

So get out there and get that thyroid boost! Your body will thank you for the combo of vitamin D and exercise.


About the Author

Andrea Wool is the founder and creator of Autoimmune Strong, an online fitness membership service designed specifically for people with autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia and other types of chronic pain. As someone who lives with hashimoto’s, celiac and fibromyalgia, Andrea experienced firsthand how difficult exercise can be for those living with chronic conditions, so she developed an exercise program designed to help regain her own strength and energy, without causing a symptom flare up. Now this program is used by women all over the world who want to get strong safely, in the comfort of their own homes. Andrea spends much of her free time running around chasing her rambunctious family- and she attributes her spunky energy to being Autoimmune Strong.