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5 Signs That You May Be Suffering From A Thyroid Problem

5 Signs That You May Be Suffering From A Thyroid Problem

Located above the Adam’s apple, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that can have a huge impact on various bodily functions. According to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about 30 million U.S. citizens have a thyroid disorder and half of them are silent sufferers who are undiagnosed. In addition to this, women are 10 times more susceptible to thyroid disorder than men.

The thyroid produces a hormone which regulates your body’s metabolism, temperature, and heartbeat. When your thyroid is over- or underactive, it’s known as a thyroid disorder. If it’s underactive, it produces too little of said hormone and vice versa. So, what causes the thyroid to go haywire? It could be an autoimmune attack, genetics, stress, pregnancy, toxins in the environment, or nutritional deficiencies. Whatever the reasons, you should be able to spot some key signs of this silent killer. Here are 5 of the most crucial signs of thyroid disorder:

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1. You are feeling tired, depressed, or anxious.

Feeling exhausted and having little or no energy are issues related to various medical conditions, but they are strongly linked with Hypothyroidism (the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of its hormone). If you feel tired all day even after a full night’s sleep, that is a clue that your thyroid is not working properly. Having too little of the hormone in question in your bloodstream means that your muscles are not getting that get-going signal. Further still, the hormone deficiency can also have an impact on the level of “feel good” serotonin in the brain, which causes depression.

If you feel anxious all day long, you might have Hyperthyroidism (the thyroid gland produces too much of its hormone). Flooded with continuous “all systems go” messages, your whole body may spin into overdrive. If you are unable to relax and feel jittery all day long, that means that your thyroid may be “hyper.”

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2. Your blood pressure is not normal.

High blood pressure can be a symptom of a thyroid disorder. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism have been pointed to as culprits. By some estimates, people who suffer from hypothyroidism are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than those who do not. One popular theory is that low levels of thyroid hormone can slow the heartbeat, which can in turn adversely affect blood vessel wall flexibility and the heart’s pumping strength. Both may cause high blood pressure.

3. Your appetite or taste buds are altered.

Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) results in feeling hungry all of the time; therefore, increased appetite can be a sign of thyroid disorder. Furthermore, people with hyperthyroidism never gain weight and, in most of the conditions, they are underweight. If you are underweight and unable to gain weight after you’ve exhausted all of your options, then you should consider getting your thyroid checked as early as possible.

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On the other hand, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can alter your sense of smell and taste. People suffering from hypothyroidism start gaining weight. If you are overweight and unable to lose weight, then you should also consider getting your thyroid checked.

4. The shape of your neck feels abnormal.

A lump in your throat or a change in your voice could be an important sign of a thyroid hormone disorder. You can check this by taking a good look at your neck to see if you can detect any signs of swelling around your thyroid. You can physically check your own thyroid at home using the following instructions:

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Take a hand mirror and watch your throat area as you swallow water. You should be looking for any protrusions or bulges in the thyroid, which is above your collarbone but below your Adam’s apple. You can try this many times to get an idea about the position of your thyroid gland. If you see anything that is suspicious or lumpy, see your doctor.

5. Your hair is thinning or falling out.

Brittle, dry hair that falls or breaks out can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Having too little of the thyroid hormone disrupts the hair growth cycle and puts many follicles into the “resting” mode, which results in hair loss. Sometimes, this hair loss happens all over your body.

Keeping Your Thyroid In Check:

Thyroid disorder is considered a “silent killer because many people ignore its symptoms and its symptoms are associated with other ailments. Relying on the above-mentioned signs, you can easily detect the presence of thyroid disorder. If you find that you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Featured photo credit: Consumerreports.org via article.images.consumerreports.org

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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