Yoga For PCOS

PCOS is not just an external problem, it begins at the very cell of our body. So, to tackle it we need to reach that cellular level. The science of Yoga works at a deeper level than just our external body. The holistic medicine which was developed over 5000 years ago, shows its effectiveness even today. Yoga not only helps one’s calm but also cams one’s mind. Yoga can be one of the effective solutions for PCOS due to this very reason.

Some women with PCOS experience pelvic and abdominal pain. Many asanas (yoga postures) designed for Polycystic ovary syndrome help in them. Other than that Pranayamas (breathing exercises) are known to reduce stress and can be said as the instant relaxation technique. When all these are combined with the ever-powerful meditation, it helps in the complete transformation of the body. In a way, yoga and meditation completely detoxifies and de-stresses our whole system.

pcos program

Benefits of Yoga

A mental health tonic:

Yoga emphasizes on the movement of one’s breathing. Through this, it handles many problems of mind such as depression and anxiety. There is no hiding in the fact that a woman suffering from PCOS has a major toll on her mental health. Through yoga one experiences a different kind of ‘high’, that makes one feel calm, content, and centered. A study conducted by International Journal of Yoga for twelve weeks says that a holistic yoga program in adolescents with PCOS is significantly better than a physical exercise program in reducing anxiety symptoms. Yoga has also shown wonders in handling stress and trauma by calming and soothing one’s mind.

Hormone Balance:

By practicing Yoga one can regulate cycles, reduce thyroid, and improve fertility. All of these are linked with our Hormones. By reducing stress, yoga reduces the release of excess cortisol (stress hormones). This further reduces the excess release of androgens in women. When compared to other exercises such as cardio or strength training, yoga doesn’t pressurize our body. Instead, it takes an alternate path and reduces the stress and physical tension of our body. This has a very positive effect on the adrenal glands and thus reduces the symptoms of PCOS.

Weight Loss:

Yoga is a mind-expanding activity. It gives complete awareness to the human being. This helps in reducing many eating disorders such as overeating and binge eating disorder. Also, studies have shown that certain aasanas can help you burn calories. It also helps in increasing your metabolism. Practicing yoga has a long term effect on your body. The effect of yoga stays with you for a long time.

Asanas (Yoga Postures) for PCOS

Badda Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose)

cobbler pose yoga pcos

  1. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together as you let your knees fall out to either side.
  2. Draw your feet in as close to your body as is comfortable. Back off if you feel any pain in your knees.
  3. Press the outer edges of your feet together strongly. The feet may begin to open like a book. You can encourage this with your hands or hold onto your big toes in a yogi toe lock
  4. Sit up tall with a long spine while keeping your shoulder blades on your back and your shoulders moving away from your ears.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Cobra Pose
Source- Yoga Journal
  1. Lie down on your abdomen, with your legs and feet together, forehead on the floor.
  2. Position your palms on the floor, next to your chest.
  3. Elbows are tucked in toward your body and pointing upward.
  4. Breathe in, pushing your navel into the floor, and raise your head and chest off the floor. Take easy, relaxed breaths as you hold the pose.

Chakki Chalanasana (The churning mill pose)

yoga for pcos
Source – Medlife
  1. Sit with your legs splayed apart. Clasp your hands and outstretch your arms at shoulder height in front of you.
  2. Take a deep breath in and start moving the upper part of your body to the front and right, forming an imaginary circle with your body
  3. Inhale as you go forward and to the right, and exhale as you go backward and to the left.
  4. Keep breathing deeply and easily while rotating. 
  5. Make 5-10 rounds in one direction and then repeat in the opposite direction. Your wheat flour is ready to be cooked!

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

yoga for pcos
Source – pixabay
  1. Be positioned flat on your backside, like our sleeping pose. Legs are supposed to be separated.
  2. Maintain your arms at your side and your palms facing up. Now slow down.
  3. Close your eyes moreover breathe deeply and bit by bit through the nostrils.
  4. Start concentrating from your head to your feet. This way you are deliberately calming your each portion of the body. Avoid moving ahead devoid of relaxing each part of the body.
  5. On every inhaling plus exhaling (breathing) feel that your body is entirely relaxed. Allow your tension, depression, worry and stress run away on every exhale.
  6. Those having excellent concentration can perform for a long time and others can perform for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Relax the muscles which lead to a decrease in the demand for blood and oxygen, giving the circulatory and respiratory systems a break.

Naukasana (Boat Pose)

yoga for pcos
Source – Medlife
  1. First lie down flat on your yoga mat, with your feet together and your arms on the sides.
  2. Keep your arms straight and your fingers outstretched towards your toes.
  3. Start Inhaling and as you exhale, lift your chest and feet off the ground, stretching your arms towards your feet. Feel the tension in your stomach area as the abdominal muscles contract.
  4. Let the weight of your body rest entirely on the buttocks. Make sure your eyes, finger and toes are all in one line. Hold your breath and remain in this position for a few seconds.
  5. Now exhale slowly as you bring the body down to the starting position and relax. You can perform 3-4 repetitions daily but do not overdo it.

yoga online

5 Simple Self Care Habits and Home Remedies for PCOS.

PCOS and Home Remedies

Women with PCOS have a roller-coaster experience dealing with it. Every woman has their own story and their own battle. Women can experience PCOS symptoms as early as in their pre-teen years to as late as in their 50’s. Many put themselves on medications while some follow certain home remedies. The first step one should take if they are suspicious about PCOS, is to consult a doctor. You need to be sure about it before you deal with it. Making assumptions about PCOS, can only make it worse.

 

However there can be certain home remedies that one can apply in their daily lives that can make PCOS a little more easier to handle:

Simple Home Remedies and Self-Care Habits

 

1. Replace Carbs with Fiber and Junks with Protein:

close-up photo of vegetable salad

 PCOS cannot be handled if your diet is messed up. You should take special care of your diet requirements. Replace all your carbs such as white bread, white rice or potato with fiber foods, which is easily digestible. Include loads of protein into your food. Protein and fiber makes you feel full easily, which can help you to lose weight easily. Fish, almonds, fruits and vegetables are the best source for protein and fiber. 

The best home remedy starts with the kitchen. So, go to your kitchen, throw away the junk, and replace it with healthy options. 

 

2. Home Workouts

woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring

If you are one of those people who pay for gym, and never go there. Then stop doing that. Make your home as your own little workout space. Begin with easy exercises and move on to the intense ones. Get up early and go for a run. Do water exercises in your building’s pool. PCOS does not demand heavy workouts and daily gymming. It is enough if you give your body a daily exercise of even 30 minutes per day. This can be easily done within the four walls of your house.

And if you are not a big exercise person, choose other alternatives such as Yoga. It not only helps you with PCOS, but also calms your mind. There are many aasanas that can help you with managing PCOS.

 

3. Take Care of your Mental Health

mental health text

PCOS not only affects your body, it has a negative effect on your mind too. It is therefore necessary to put your mental health in consideration too. Pick up a self-motivating book to begin with. Talk with other people about your problems. Share your feelings. You would be amazed to see the difference in your stress and depression just by telling someone how you feel. And if these home remedies aren’t working for you, try seeking professional help. 

Remember it is you who matters. There is nothing wrong in going to a therapist or talking about your mental health.  

 

4. Get enough sleep:

grayscale photo of sleeping woman lying on bed

 No method would work until and unless your body is properly rested. Getting a sound sleep is the easiest home remedy that you can do to rejuvenate your body. If you find it difficult to sleep, methods such as meditation, listening to calming sounds while sleeping can help. Just as they say a good laugh and a long sleep are the two cures for anything. It is true even for PCOS. A well rested body can function better and it would be easier for you to handle the stress of PCOS.

5. Follow a Routine

black steel alarm clock on top of brown table

Most of the time, one becomes clumsy and lazy, if they don’t have a routine to follow. Try setting up a time table for yourself. Get up at a fixed time, have regular breakfast and exercise daily. Having a regular schedule helps to manage all the activities properly. Include all the necessary things that you are doing for PCOS in it. This way you’d do things daily and thus can get results as early as possible. Often people make big plans for making changes in their life, but forget about it after doing it for a day or two. Having a routine keeps a check on all your home remedies and activities.

 

PCOS treatment: 6 Simple Exercises for PCOS

When it comes to managing PCOS, the two main factors that should be concentrated are- Diet and Exercises for PCOS. Often many people do all the necessary things required for their diet and neglect the exercise part of their lifestyle. But the thing is that there are no bad exercises. The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen. 

 

An article published by Oxford Academic in the year 2011, says that there is no dependency of the improvements in PCOS on the type of exercise, frequency or length of the exercise sessions. . Exercise for PCOS not only helps in weight management, but can also brighten up our moods and help with other symptoms of PCOS. It doesn’t always need to be heavy or intense workouts. A simple change such as taking the stairs or walking to your office can make a huge difference in your exercise regime.

 

How does Exercise affect PCOS?

person's left hand wrapped by tape measure

PCOS, as its name suggests, includes various symptoms. It is not confined to one particular disease. Most of these symptoms can be blamed upon Insulin resistance. If insulin resistance is managed, then the hormonal imbalances and excess weight gain can also be controlled.

 

When a woman with PCOS exercises, it helps her to manage the insulin and glucose levels in her body. The continuous movement in our body helps it to move glucose. This process takes the glucose from our blood and spreads it to other parts of our body. This reduces the load of glucose management from insulin, thus increasing our body’s sensitivity towards it.

 

How much and How often to Exercise for PCOS?

person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends a weekly exercise of 150 minutes can do the trick. This is when you are doing moderate exercises such as brisk walking, hiking, sports etc.  However, if you are aiming for intense workouts, then 75 minutes per week is sufficient.

 

It further says that the combination of moderate and vigorous activities, spread throughout the week can also be beneficial. Further, it can be increased with time as one gets used to it.

 

It must be noted here that no exercise should stress you out. When stress happens, our body releases cortisol, which further stimulates androgens. So, if you are already stressed out from the day, skip workouts that day.It is you that matters. Listen to your body. If you body says no, don’t pressurize it.

 

Exercises for PCOS

Get a Fun start:

women dancing near mirror

If you are just beginning with the exercises, try not to exert your body. Give it a fun start. Go  for a simple walk or in the morning. Zumba and aerobic classes are also fun ways to get into exercising. Choose exercises for PCOS that make you happy and do not stress you much. Get yourself a workout buddy and enjoy it to full extent.

Cardio:

woman jogging near wire fence

Cardio is the simplest thing that you can do. Go for a morning stride, listen to some great music and lighten yourselves up while exercising. Doing this 30 minutes a day can help with PCOS by managing weight and helping with depression and anxiety. Cardio can also help with regulating menstrual flow and can manage your ovulation. Try taking breaks and make it easier by changing the pace frequently. For example, try 10 minutes of brisk walking followed by 10 minutes of jogging. This can amp up your cardio game and encourage you to continue it for a long time.

Water Exercises:

woman floating on body of water

Water sports such as swimming and water aerobics can be a fun way to do exercises. These are resistance exercises and do the  whole body workout. Try to push yourself to achieve longer laps while swimming. Enjoy yourselves in the pool and have a great workout.

 

Strength training:

woman pushing bars

Strength training is a great way for reducing Insulin resistance and boosting metabolism. Exercises such as squats, push-ups and tricep dips can increase the flow of glucose to other parts of our body. Thus reducing the work of Insulin. Try to combine these exercises with cardio. Both balances your whole workouts and helps in reducing various symptoms of  PCOS.

 

Take up a Sport:

pair of red badminton rackets

If you are not a big exercise person, make exercising your own. Choose a sport for yourself and practice it regularly. It can be anything, even a daily game of badminton in your courtyard can be a game changer (pun intended ;D). Basketball, tennis, cricket or even kabaddi can help you to take the stress out and refresh your body.

 

Meditation and Yoga:

person doing yoga on floor

If you reduce stress in your body, then the release of androgen is reduced to a large extent. And nothing soothes you more than a perfect balance of meditation and yoga. Include the following aasanas in your exercise regime:

  1. Butterfly Pose
  2. Supta Badhakonasana
  3. Bharadvajasana
  4. Chakki Chalanasana
  5. Shavasana
  6. Padma Sadhana
  7. Sun Salutation

Remember to relax while doing these poses. The main aim to decrease PCOS symptoms is to reduce your stress. Co-ordinate you breathing along with the aasanas to ensure best results.

PCOS: Simple Ways To Treat It At Home.

PCOS is the most common endocrine condition that happens to women. Insulin resistance, genetics and hormonal imbalance are the main reasons for the condition. There is no one solution to PCOS. However, making changes in one’s diet and lifestyle can make a huge impact in managing PCOS.

 

How Diet affects PCOS?

 

Diet has a significant role in managing PCOS. The two main parts where diet plays the key factor is –

  • Weight management
  • Insulin resistance

A study shows that almost 50% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. The rise of insulin levels in our body is due to the increase of glucose. This can happen due to various reasons like overeating, eating junks and sugar etc.  By treating insulin resistance, PCOS can be handled to a large extent.

 

 

 

Diet Changes to Manage PCOS

A woman suffering from PCOS has insulin levels already spiked up. The least she could do is to not increase it. Removing all those food items that are responsible for the insulin spikes can be a start. Later replacing it with healthier options can do the charm.

 

Replace and Remove

 

  • Refined carbs:

 

four sliced breads on plate

 

Simple carbohydrates are the main culprits in increasing the glucose levels in our body. So, the first step in the management of PCOS is to reduce the carbohydrate intake. But the sad part is that most portions of our diet is filled with carbohydrate rich foods such as white rice, maida, white bread and potato. These can be easily broken down into glucose in our body, leading to higher insulin levels.

 

  • Processed foods:

 

burger and fries in box

 

The mass produced processed foods harm our body to a very large extent. To add flavors, they contain added sugar in it, which must be a complete no for women with PCOS. Avoid those burgers, pizzas, and especially sugary cold drinks. They can easily increase your blood sugar level.

 

  •  Dairy Intake:

 

photo of milk bottle lot

 

We usually hear from our parents, about the goodness of the milk. But they forget the fact that today’s milk is not the same as they think. The milk that we get in our homes, goes through many processes such as pasteurization, homogenization, and is even added with pesticides. The intake of milk for women with PCOS acts as an androgen increasing food. So, it is advisable to reduce the dairy intake for stopping the hormonal imbalances in our body.

 

Increase and Include

 

  • Complex Carbohydrate:

 

 

If you think all carbs are bad. Think again? Our body needs carbohydrates, just not refined and simple carbs. Complex carbs like whole grains and sweet potatoes are actually good for our body. They don’t break down easily into glucose and provide energy for a longer time. Start by replacing your rice with rotis and maida with atta.

 

  • Fiber:

 

assorted variety of fruits

 

Fiber rich foods are the best option to reduce insulin resistance. This reduces digestion in our body, which inturn reduces the sugar levels. Fiber also makes us feel full easily. This makes us eat less and helps us to lose weight.

 

Some fiber rich foods:

 

Fruits                  :  Apple, oranges, strawberries, guava, pears 

Vegetables         :  Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peas, beetroot

Legumes            :  Lentils, chickpeas, soybeans and kidney beans

Nuts and seeds  :  Almonds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds

 

  • Protein:

 

flat-lay photography of assorted-variety of stir fried and vegetable foods

 

Just like fibers, eating fibers also make you feel full easily. Thus helping you to lose weight.

 

Protein rich foods:

 

Omega-3 rich foods such as Fish and Almonds.

Legumes, soy, nuts and seeds.

 

  • Antioxidant rich foods:

 

tray of food on white surface

 

Inflammation is one other problem that comes along with PCOS. Inflammation can be troublesome for our gut and digestive system. Foods rich in antioxidants can help with inflammation.

 

Foods rich in antioxidants:

 

Fruits                    : Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.

Vegetables           : Spinach, artichokes, kale.

Whole Grains       : Whole oats, whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice.

Unsaturated fats  : Nuts like pecans and nut butters, olive oil, avocado. 

 

Conclusion

 

A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is a simple solution for reducing PCOS symptoms. This helps in reducing the glucose levels, further reducing the insulin resistance in our body. 

 

Remember the two golden rules to manage PCOS:

  1. Lose fat.
  2. Be mindful of what you eat.

 

Stop ignoring the signs that your body is giving you about PCOS. Start acting on it immediately before it’s late. Because if you ignore it for a long time, it can lead  to much more problematic complications.

Overeating and PCOS: The Cause and the Disease.

Overeating and Insulin resistance

 

There is no one reason that can be said as the cause of PCOS. But there are few habits that we develop that will for sure trigger and exceed the already existing PCOS in our body. One of them is Overeating.

Consider each individual cells in our body as little houses. These little houses function when we provide them with fuel as food.  The food which is converted into glucose is absorbed by our cells in order to attain energy. But excess of a good thing can cause havoc even in the little cell houses. When we overeat, it causes problems in the happy-go-lucky cell homes. The intake of glucose becomes difficult.

When a person overeats, it’s as if there has been a permanent lock in our cell houses for the intake of glucose. The work of insulin in our body is to open the cell house doors for the glucose to enter. But due to overeating, the glucose level rises in our body. It is thus very important to control our habit of overeating to manage insulin resistance and PCOS.

 

 

 

Now, since glucose has nowhere to go, it stays in the carrier itself. This leads to the assimilation of glucose in our blood rather than our cells. 

 

But the insulin still keeps trying. Our pancreas sees that there has been an increase in the blood sugar level. So, it tries to compensate it by producing more insulin. This excess production of insulin in our body is Hyperinsulinemia.

 

Hyperinsulinemia and PCOS

 

 

The excess production of Insulin or Hyperinsulinemia, is one of the reasons for the production of excess male hormones. These male hormones or androgens are the cause of PCOS.

 

Thee androgens are the reason for excess body hair, specifically facial hair, balding, acne, decreased breast size, deepening of the voice or increased muscle mass.

  

Not only this, high insulin, can even impair ovulation, leading to infertility in women. Thickening and darkening of the skin on the back of the neck, under the arms, and groin area, are also caused by this, which are the symptoms of PCOS.

 

Women with PCOS over-produce insulin in an attempt to maintain a normal blood sugar level, and this frequently leads to more androgen productions and weight gain.

 

So, even though we feel that we are having just one extra bite, overeating can have serious consequences.

 

It is thus very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep a check on our food habits. Because every time you make a wrong choice, you create a big mess in those little cell houses.

 

Overeating and Binge Eating disorder

 

Eating more food than what is needed for our body is called as Overeating. Our body spends a particular amount of energy and stores the rest in the form of fat in our body. Thus when a person overeats, he has too much excess after spending the energy required. All of which is settled in our body in form of fatty tissues.

Binge eating Disorder or BED is another eating disorder that is similar to overeating. However it is the most common eating disorder that was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. A person with BED finds it very difficult to stop eating while binges. It may also take a toll on their mental health by causing depression and anxiety.

 

Symptoms of Overeating

 

person holding burger

 

  • You are not able to stop eating. You continue to eat even though you know its bad.
  • Eating very fast, eating until you are extremely full, eating even though you are not hungry, feeling depressed or sad after eating are some of the common symptoms.
  • Depression or mood swings. Eating disorders affects mental health adversely. Thus, it is common to have depression and anxiety if you binge-eat.
  • Excess weight gain in a short period of time.
  • Eating to feel better about any problems or embarrassment.

 

Ways to reduce Overeating

 

woman in black top

 

  • Eat every 3-4 hours, but in small quantity.
  • Reduce Carbs and increase protein and fiber intake. Protein and fiber makes you feel full faster. This helps you to reduce your food intake.
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep may make you feel tired, which is compensated by overeating.
  • Get your insulin levels and diabetes checked. This can help you to know about your condition and act upon it.
  • Remember that you cannot change a habit of yours overnight. It takes time. Don’t pressurize yourself. Take small steps each day and soon you’ll be able to see a whole lot of difference.

 

Click here to know about the work of insulin in our body and more about Insulin resistance

Insulin Resistance and PCOS: How are they connected?

“The pain of PCOS is invisible, most people don’t understand it. And the hardest battles are those which we fight against the unseen”.  This was written in a gynecologist’s office, and is true in every sense. Many people don’t even know the cause for PCOS. Some blame it on insulin resistance, some on obesity or overeating and some on genetics. 

Insulin Resistance and PCOS

 

Today every 1 in 5 women suffers from PCOS, and sadly many even don’t recognise it. They fight this unseen battle without the basic knowledge of it. The number of problems and symptoms due to PCOS is extremely high. PCOS messes up women’s hormones and this imbalance in hormones have a drastic effect on health and appearance of a person.

What is PCOS?

PCOS , Insulin resistance

PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition that affect women’s hormone levels, producing excess amount of androgens, a group of male sex hormones. 

It is normal for every woman to produce some amount of it in her body. But in women with PCOS the production of these hormones increases manifold leading to problems such as acne, abnormal hair growth, like facial hair or male pattern baldness. Infertility and irregular periods are another set of issues that come along with PCOS. 

Many research [1] [2] proves that the production of these excess male hormones is due to Insulin resistance. Over 60% of women suffering from PCOS are insulin resistant. Insulin resistance causes many of the symptoms of PCOS and hormonal imbalance. 

 

What is Insulin Resistance?

 

insulin resistance

Insulin is a hormone produced in our pancreas which allows the cells to absorb or use glucose. When insulin resistance happens, our body stops responding to this insulin. 

Resistance to any substance happens, when there is an increase in the amount of the substance. Just as an increase in dosage of antibiotics creates resistance to antibiotics, or excess consumption of alcohol makes a person resistant to it. Similarly when insulin production increases in our body, our body becomes resistant to it. 

Our body stops responding to the insulin produced in pancreas, thus causing troubles in its function.This further leads to many diseases  such as obesity, diabetes and heart diseases.

 

What does Insulin do in our body?

 

Blood, Cells, carrier, insulin resistance

One of the functions of insulin in our body is that it acts as the primary hormone that signals for energy storage into our fat cells. 

Imagine our cells as houses. Like every house, our cells also need necessary things for its functioning such as food or water. So the food that we eat is the source for our little cell houses. These foods break down into glucose and this glucose is the energy source for our cells. 

Now, the next step is to send this glucose to every cell in our body, and this is the work of blood. Our blood acts as a carrier and transports glucose to our cells.

But the requirement of every house is different right? Similarly every cell has a different need for glucose. This must be regulated in our body. The regulation of glucose is done by insulin. 

Insulin acts as key to our cell houses. It allows the necessary amount of glucose and stops its entry when the amount exceeds. Thus insulin is a very important hormone as it affects the basic unit of our body- Our cell.

How to know if you are Insulin Resistant?

Person Holding Black Tube

1. Increased Cravings and Hunger

Our body releases insulin to lower the excess glucose to a safer level. This insulin also helps our cells to absorb this glucose to gain energy. But when Insulin resistance happens, the insulin does not do its work. As a result, the glucose level increases manifold in our body, and our cells cannot absorb the glucose. This means that the food that we are eating is not being converted to energy.

2. Increased thirst and excess urination

Insulin resistance may make you feel parched all the time. This is due to the excess glucose in your body. High glucose levels forces our kidneys to get rid of the excess. Thus causing frequent urination. In order to get rid of the sugar, it pulls excess water from our body too. This sends a signal to our brain of being dehydrated. hence we feel thirsty quite often. This cycle of thirst and urination continues until the blood sugar levels are balanced. This also happens in the case of diabetes.

Diabetes and Insulin resistance are the two sides of the same coin. One follows the other. When blood sugar increases insulin resistance increases and vice-versa.

3. Weight Gain

if you feel that lately, you’ve started gaining more weight than usual, then it maybe due to insulin resistance. The increased hunger can cause you to eat more, especially load up on carbs and sugar. This can easily make you gain weight in a short period of time. The excess insulin and glucose also make your abdomen area fattier. This is because the insulin settles down in the region and increases your waist size.

4. Dark Skin Patches

Insulin resistance can also cause visible skin changes. Dark patches on the back of your neck, or on your elbows, knees, knuckles, and armpits are some of the skin problems that come with it. This usually happens when Insulin resistance is severe.

How Insulin Resistance is connected to PCOS

Insulin Resistance and PCOS have been linked by various medical professionals. Insulin is a hormone that balances the blood sugar level in our body. When this does not happen during insulin resistance, both insulin and glucose level spikes up. High insulin has its own fatalities, such as increasing deposition of fat in the belly region as insulin is a fat-storage hormone. Secondly, insulin also triggers the release of excess androgens, and increases the symptoms of PCOS. 

 

Although not all women with PCOS suffer from Insulin resistance, it for sure is one of the leading causes for PCOS. This is why many studies say that women with PCOS must be first treated for insulin resistance.

 

Exercises for Insulin Resistance:

 

Insulin resistance can be managed to a great extent through exercise. This is because when a person exercises, our body tries to use up the excess glucose in our body. Exercising specifically for Insulin resistance shows quick results, sometimes within 48 hours of the exercise.

 

HIIT:

High Intensity Interval Training, has gained its popularity due to its effective results. It involves high strength exercises performed for about 30 minutes. The recovery period given for this type of training is higher. Thus this is done only 2 or 3 times a week.

 

This training stimulates the muscle fibre to take up the excess glucose. The adrenaline released during it also helps in fat loss. Thus helping with PCOS to a great extent.

 

Aerobic Activities:

Combining aerobic activities such as brisk walking, cycling and swimming with HIIT has shown best results. During the recovery period of HIIT, aerobic activities can be adopted to the exercise regime. Women with PCOS must be careful to not let their body sit idle for longer hours. Exercising is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the symptoms of PCOS. Thus aerobic activities are an easy way to jump start your exercise routine.

 

Yoga:

Yoga and meditation can never go wrong. Various yogic asanas have their effect on balancing the blood glucose levels. Other than this, yoga calms down our mind, thus reducing stress. It reduces the release of cortisols, thus also helping in managing insulin levels. This 5000 year old way of exercising has benefits not only for the treatments of metabolic syndrome, but also for any other health problem. In Yoga, everything is interrelated. Thus, by curing one problem through Yoga, many other problems are also managed.

Conclusion

PCOS is just like any other disease, and it can be treated. But, one can’t just take a medicine and cure it.  We need to change and improve our lifestyle and eating habit along with it. You should take special care if you suffer from insulin resistance. This is because PCOS and insulin resistance are directly proportional. One increases naturally with the other one.

Click here to understand how overeating, insulin resistance and PCOS are related

 

Kapha Dosha: Properties and 3 Ways to Balance it.

Kapha Dosha is the third dosha of the Tridosha theory. Imagine late winter, with cold dry days and snow falls. This season is called Kapha season. Also, the health and fitness of our body is maintained by Kapha Dosha.  

 

KAPHA DOSHA CONSTITUENTS

Kapha Dosha represents ether and water element in our body. The earth and water element is responsible for the rigidity, firmness and most importantly for the regeneration process in our body. The nature of these elements are steadiness, stability and stillness. No amount of wind or fire can move these elements easily. This same concept is applied to the Kapha Dosha.

 

When water and earth mix together, then it makes mud. This is a great way to explain Kapha as it explains its ability to hold things together and make them stick. Earth is dense, heavy, stable and slow, while water provides the soft, cold and smooth qualities.

 

Like other doshas, Kapha is also located in a few of the regions in our body. They are thoracic cavity, head region, stomach, nasal cavity, throat region, interphalangeal joints and oral cavity.

 

Properties of Kapha Dosha:

  1. Heavy
  2. Cold
  3. Slow
  4. Steady
  5. Greasy
  6. Mucoid/Slimy
  7. Soft
  8. Dense/Compact

 

Work of Kapha Dosha in our body:

  1. Control of the movements of all the joints as well as joining them firmly in our body.
  2. Since Kapha Dosha is greasy, it doesn’t allow friction during the movement of joints.
  3. Reason for the Regeneration process.
  4. It fills the intercellular space of the body. Thus giving firmness or bodytone to our body.
  5. Increases the immunity.
  6. It forms human emotions such as Forgiveness, Selfness and Strong Willpower.

 

Symptoms of imbalance of Kapha Dosha

 

  1. Asthma and allergies
  2. Frequent colds, Cough and Congestion, Nasal mucus, Running nose, and Sinus.
  3. Depression, Laziness, loss of strength
  4. Materialism, possession and jealousy,
  5. Weight gain and Obesity
  6. Procrastination.
  7.  Fluid retention, excess urination, or mucoid diarrhea.
  8. Diabetes, high cholesterol, profuse edema, solid edema, congestive heart failure and leukemia.

 

How to manage Kapha Imbalance

 

Through Kapha Diet

 

  1. Avoid sweet, sour and cold food such as ice-cream, and cold desserts.
  2. Avoid oily, processed and heavy food such as cheese, meat, cake etc.
  3. Eat light and easy to digest foods such as honey. 
  4. Spices such as chili, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cumin balances Kapha Dosha
  5. Most beans and pulses are good for the Kapha diet.
  6. All vegetables are good except sweet vegetables like tomatoes and sweet potatoes. 
  7. Avoid overeating and eat in a peaceful environment.

 

Make Changes in your Lifestyle

 

  1. Kapha Dosha people usually tend towards laziness. Thus to break the cycle, it is necessary to follow a regular routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Clean the clutter around you. Keeping your surroundings can help you to feel more energetic.
  3.  Include exercise in your Lifestyle. It can be as simple as a jog or can be heavy work-outs. Doing so will keep the kapha balanced.
  4. Change things around you a bit: Learn a new hobby, make changes in your room or any other small changes. Kapha imbalance usually makes one feel stuck in a cycle. Making small changes can help in it.

 

Other Methods

 

  1. Perform a daily dry massage on your body to stimulate blood circulation.
  2. Wear Kapha balancing colors such as yellow and orange which are warm and helps in soothing it.
  3. Avoid taking naps in the day to not feel more lethargic and tired.

 

 

Pitta Dosha: Properties and 3 ways to balance it.

Pitta is the second Dosha of the Tridosha theory. Imagine a hot, sweaty, and burning summer day. This is said to be a Pitta prominent day. Through understanding its constituents, we can understand more about Pitta.

PITTA DOSHA CONSTITUENTS

Pitta Dosha’s intensity is sparked by the fire element and their action by the water element. When fire and water combine, it produces steam and this is part of the penetrating feature of pitta. Due to its heat summer season is also called the Pitta season.

 

Every living creature continuously transforms from one form to another at a certain pace. This continuous transformation which is emblematic of development is because of the fire element. For example, in order for a fruit to ripe, it needs heat and warmth. Similarly, for an egg to hatch, it needs to be kept at higher temperatures. This means that fire element is responsible for the changes and transformation happening in the universe. All  these are constituents of Pitta Dosha.

 

The physical and emotional transformations such as digestion process, aging, anger, fear, etc is due to Pitta Dosha. 

 

Like other doshas, pitta is also located in a few of the regions in our body. They are Duodenum, Lymphatic system, skin, stomach, sweat and blood.

 

Properties of Pitta Dosha:

 

  1. Corrosive.
  2. Penetrating
  3. Oily
  4. Hot
  5. Liquid
  6. Pungent Smelly.

 

Work of Pitta Dosha in our body:

  1. Regulates the digestion process.
  2. Maintains the body temperature.
  3. Regulates Eyesight.
  4. Is responsible for hunger, taste, and thirst in our body.
  5. Maintains color, shine and softness of our skin.
  6. Helps in strong grasping power.
  7. Is responsible for emotions such as courage.

 

Symptoms of imbalance of Pitta Dosha

 

  • Feeling of intense hunger, or thirst. Often feels unsatisfied.
  • Nausea, vomiting, hiccups, acid reflux, heartburn, loose stools, diarrhea, low blood sugar, and resentment to spicy or fried foods.
  •  Feeling Impatient or Frustrated. Overly goal/result oriented, Resentment, Jealousy, Judgemental
  • Bad breath or Body odour.
  • Dizziness and/or Insomnia. 
  • Tenderness of breasts, nipples or testicles. Heavy bleeding during menstruation.
  • Weakening of eyesight and other vision problems.
  •  Skin conditions such as rash, acne, eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis

 

How to manage Pitta Imbalance

 

 Through the Pitta Diet.

  • Include sweet, bitter and astringent foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, barley, oats, milk, butter and ghee. Foods rich in the bitter tastes include green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and bitter gourd.
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods which include condiments such as chillies and mustard.
  • Minimize sour and salty foods such as yogurt, or salted chips.
  • Minimize drinks such as alcohol or sugar based sodas. Replace it with cool, refreshing drinks such as herbal or mint teas.
  • Prefer sweet fruits over sour ones such as oranges or grapefruits.
  • Raw vegetables can also lower Pitta Dosha.
  • Include cooling herbs such as coriander, mint and fennels.

 

Through Yoga

  • Many Yoga Asanas help in cooling the Pitta Dosha, and lower the heat in our body.
  • Some of the Yoga Postures that will help with Pitta Dosha are:
  1. Child’s posture (Shishu asana)
  2. Chair posture (Utkatasana)
  3. Cobra posture (Bhujangasana)
  4. Superman posture (Vipareeta Shalabhasana)
  5. Bridge posture (Setubandhasana)
  6. Corpse posture (Shavasana)

 

  • Other than this meditation also helps in cooling down our mind due to Pitta imbalance. FInd solace and coolness in meditation in times of anger and fear.

 

Protect yourself from the heat.

  • During the summer season, avoid direct exposure from the midday sun.
  • Absorb the moonlight, by going on a walk in the evenings.
  • Wear protection while facing the sun.
  • Go to bed before 10 p.m.
  • Do your exercise or sports activities either in morning or evening. Do not indulge in them during the noon time.

 

Vata Dosha: Properties and 4 Ways to Balance it.

 

 

The Vata Dosha is called ‘The King of the Doshas’, as it is the main dosha of the tridosha theory. If you imagine a cool, dry, windy fall day, then it can be said as a Vata prominent day. It has effects on various functions and features of our body too, and can be more understood through it constituents.

 

 VATA DOSHA CONSTITUENTS

 

The element Air and Ether (or Space) of the universe is represented by Vata dosha. The pitta and kapha dosha cannot function without it as they are not self propelled. It means that to complete  their work in our body, they cannot move from one place to another. They need a carrier to do that, and Vata acts as that carrier. Vata travels all around our body. Hence vata dosha has speed as its emblem. All the movements of our body are thus inspired by vata. 

 

The tridosha theory of ayurveda says that the three doshas are equally distributed in the body. Although vata continuously moves around our body, it resides in a few positions. They are Intestines, lower back, bones, Thigh region, Skin, ear and our complete lower body.

 

 They combine and run all the work in our body. These three doshas have their own properties.

 

Properties of Vata dosha:

 

  • Dry
  • Light
  • Cold
  • Rough
  • Subtle
  • mobile(moving)
  • Quick

 

Work of vata in our body:

 

  • The controlling of All the natural works of the body
  • The development of foetus during pregnancy. The development depends on the balance and imbalance of this dosha. The imbalance can lead to various genetic disorders.
  • Speech, heart sounds, respirational sounds, peristaltic sounds.
  • Hearing, respiration.
  • The control on the digestive system.
  • Maintains the fluid in the body.
  • Removes the waste material and toxins in our body, in the form of urine and feces.
  • Keep a check on the nervous system.
  • Delivers nutrients to all the muscles of our body.
  • Walking, running and all kinds of dynamic movements in our body. 

 

Symptoms of imbalance of Vata Dosha

 

  • Dry skin, hair, ears, lips, joints, cracked heels and hands
  • Bloating, gas, constipation or dry hard stools
  • Dehydration and weight loss
  • Imbalance of mind – restlessness, dizziness, delusion, anxiety, nervousness, panic, fear agitation or feeling of emptiness
  • Body fluid troubles like poor circulation, muscle spasm or constriction, asthma, pain and aches, tightness
  • Excessive movement such as Irrelevant or too much talking, fidgeting, tremors or muscle twitching.
  • Light interrupted sleep or sleeplessness, increase in thoughts and worries, lack of strength, Ptosis.

 

How to manage Vata Dosha Imbalance

Through Vata Diet.

 

  • Avoid Dry and light ,cold, raw and processed foods
  • Avoid Caffeine, nicotine, Hard alcohol and other stimulants.
  • Increase sweet, sour, salty, warm, cooked whole foods.
  • Include vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, sweet potato, beets, carrots, brussel sprouts, avocados, dates, figs, lemons and papayas.
  • Avoid overeating or eating very heavy meals. 
  • Spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, ginger, turmeric and saffron help in balancing vata.
  • Adding ghee in your diet can also help

 

Maintain a daily routine.

 

  • Get proper sleep. Lack of sleep is one of the major reasons for Vata imbalance. So, schedule your sleep at the right time, usually between 10p.m to 5 a.m.
  • Routine times for your meals, and eat in a peaceful environment.
  • Keep a time-table for everything. A proper routine helps in soothing the imbalanced Vata.
  • Add meditation to your routine. Doing meditation as the first thing in the morning is the most beneficial way in calming Vata.

 

 

Exercise Properly

 

  • Excessive exercise can trouble vata. Prefer simple and easy exercises.
  • Don’t exercise for long hours. Listen to your body. Do not push it limits.
  • Yoga is the best option. It is calm and gentle and helps your mind to concentrate.

 

Hydrate your Body

 

  • As vata is extremely drying, it is important to hydrate our body as many times as possible. 
  • Drink warm water. Wam water calms down the excess Vata as compared to cold water.
  •  Oils such as sesame, almond or avocado oil are beneficial in pacifying vata.
  • Massaging your body with vata-calming oils(sesame or almond) for around 20 minutes a day can also help.

 

Eating Fat make you Fat- Breaking the Myths!!

Do you feel guilty every time you eat fatty foods?

Does that extra cheese or chicken affect your perfect low-fat diet and you fear weight gain?

Hold ON!!!!

Breaking the Myth

Let’s break it. Eating fat does not make you fat. But this is something that never stops being a myth. Because the first thing we think when we see fat-rich food is that it will surely make us fat.

Fat

 

But more and more research has proven that this theory is wrong, and fat is in fact necessary for our diet.

Studies compared people on low-fat, high-carb diets with people on low-carb, high-fat diet. The people who stopped the intake of fatty foods did not lose their weight or gain any health benefits. 

In fact, research has found that the real villain in increasing body fat is carbohydrates and added sugar rather than fat.

To understand this concept in a better way, let us first see how our fat and carbohydrates break down in our body.

Carbohydrate vs Fat

 

Fat

 

When you eat carbohydrates, then the breakdown of it starts in our mouth itself. The carbohydrate breaks down into sugar by the enzymes in our saliva. Our body detects an excess of sugar in our body due to this, further triggering insulin in our body. The release of insulin, tells our body to store the available energy in the form of fat tissues.

Thus, carbohydrate has an effect on increasing the fat tissues in our body.

However fat goes through a different story in our body. The complete breakdown of fat neither takes place in our mouth, nor in our stomachs. It happens in our small intestine. And unlike carb, it does not cause a massive increase in the insulin level in our body.

Thus, decreasing fat accumulation.

Does Low-fat Diet Really Make a Difference?

These days the low-fat diet has become a new trend. Everyone who wants to lose weight is cutting on fat, without thinking of the negative outcomes.

Fat

 

For instance, how many of us have replaced our whole milk with skim milk. We think that we are making a healthy replacement.

If so, then the next study might be disappointing to hear.

A 3-week study of around 18 healthy adults shows that there isn’t much difference between the two. And besides, the intake of whole milk can in fact leads to fewer cases of diabetes and can also increase good cholesterol. [1]

A large analysis published in August in the journal The Lancet compares more than 135,000 people on low-fat and low-carb diets across 18 countries. The researchers say that low-fat diets were more likely to be linked with death from all causes. It also says that there was a higher likelihood of heart attacks and heart disease as well.

So, it turns out that we are making a huge mistake by cutting down all the fat in our body.

Our body requires fat. It has some major functions in our body, including absorption of vitamins and minerals, the building of cell membranes, and is even required for blood clotting. Thus, the intake of fat is very necessary.

The Good and Bad Fat

Everything has a good side and a bad side. Thus some kinds of fat are better than others. 

Fat

For instance, unsaturated fats are healthier than trans fats or saturated ones. Unsaturated fat that includes nuts, olive oil, avocados, fishes, etc which make your diet healthier are very useful to our body. 

 

On the other hand,  trans fat is the most dangerous one that is present in the junk foods that we consume. It not only raises bad LDL cholesterol but also lowers good HDL levels. Artificial trans fats can also create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions and contributes to insulin resistance, which increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

Fat

While not as harmful as trans fat, saturated fat can raise bad LDL cholesterol and too much can negatively impact heart health, so it’s best consumed in moderation.

So, we can conclude by saying that eating healthy fat and avoiding unhealthy carbohydrates can be the perfect combination for the weight loss diet that you are aiming for.

Choose healthy, even fats!!!

weight loss program - fats are good