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?
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?
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:
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 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 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 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:
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:
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:
- Butterfly Pose
- Supta Badhakonasana
- Chakki Chalanasana
- Padma Sadhana
- 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.