PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is disease attached with lots of complications such as increased weight, irregular menstrual cycle, hirsutism, acne development etc. Along with these bodily changes, psychological health is also affected due to decreased quality of life which develops depression, stress, diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc.
In such situations, it is better to choose options which could contribute in relieving stress and helps to diminish the outcomes of PCOS. One such option is “exercise”. Exercising does not cure PCOS but it helps to handle the major complications related to PCOS such as (but not limited to),
- Weight gain
Medication alone could not cure any disease completely; it needs the addition of compromises such as lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, etc. Exercising can help to make these compromises easier. Some females avoid doing any kind of exercise in day-to-day life but if this approach is adapted, then, it can give much healthy results in the body.
All the physical changes came out of exercise are completely visible in the body but it also helps to benefit the body in psychological way. It is suggested that engaging in moderate amount of physical exercise can help to improve mood and emotional state of a person which are solely required for a PCOS-affecting females.
WHAT EXERCISE TARGETS IN PCOS-AFFECTING FEMALES?
The goals of doing exercise during PCOS are:
- Managing insulin resistance – Helps to transfer glucose into cells to convert it into energy
- Increasing muscle mass – Helps to metabolize glucose effectively inside body
By targeting these goals, exercise can contribute greatly in reducing complications arising from PCOS. But it is also suggested that the over-exercising should be avoided during PCOS as it can imbalance the hormonal profile.
Some of those exercises which can be chosen specifically during PCOS are listed below.
- Weight training or strength training is highly beneficial in PCOS. This does not mean to carry heavy weights of dumbbells or barbells because muscle build-up is not the only target.
- Weight training means to lose extra fat from body. It helps to perform day-to-day activities easily. Some PCOS women are overweight which interferes in the treatment. Thus, for those women this strength training becomes aim to lose extra weight to meet the targets of getting healthy.
High intensity interval training (HIIT)
- This exercise is better for stress management in PCOS women. It is also clinically-proven for improving quality of life in those females. It helps to improve cardiovascular and metabolic profile of PCOS women.
- HIIT also helps to improve sensitivity of tissues towards insulin and prevents the development of insulin resistance.
Low intensity steady state cardio (LISS)
- It is suggested that HIIT becomes more effective when it is combined with low impact steady state cardio. It involves performing a repetitive movement at a steady or moderate pace for long time.
- It helps to lower fasting insulin levels and fat mass in women. Steady-state cardio also helps to prevent physiological stress. Mental health professionals suggest the outdoor steady-state cardio for improving mental health.
- Thus, as the PCOS women highly get affected in the manner of mental health, outdoor steady-state cardio is really helpful.
- Swimming is recommended by many doctors for maintaining healthy body as it burns calories. For PCOS women too, swimming helps to maintain uterus health along with losing calories.
- Managing weight in PCOS is a prime goal. Swimming can help lose weight in PCOS women and it also relieves the body & soul.
- In PCOS, cycling helps to lose weight and also burns more calories by increasing glucose absorption by tissues. When this glucose enters the cells, it gets converted to energy which is used to perform more physical activities.
- Cycling is otherwise very healthy and easy-to-do exercise for the body. It has benefitted persons of every age-group. Cycling also helps to build and maintain muscle of the legs & thighs.
- Zumba is a kind of cardio. It helps to lose weight. It is regarded as one of the best exercises in PCOS.
- It helps to lose weight in PCOS women by burning extra fat and calorie. Regularity in zumba performance prevents the formation of dumps of fat. Engaging in zumba exercise is entertaining for a person and thus, helps to prevent stress development, too.
- Walking is also one of the best exercises for women as it can be done anywhere and at any time. But it should be done regularly and increased with time.
- It helps to calm the mind and body and balances the fat profile and hormonal profile of the body, if performed daily. It has been observed that daily brisk walk for 30-50 minutes can help to prevent weight gain even if the dietary habits are not changed.
- It is suggested by doctors that performing pilates can really help in PCOS. Uterus in PCOS needs to strengthen with gentle exercises such as pilates.
- It also helps to bring down the stress levels, prevents depression and improves the hormonal imbalance.
- Pilates exercise has been observed to remove toxins from the body which might be involved in acne formation and hair fall.
- It is always confusing whether to stretch or not in PCOS. Stretching is recommended to be carefully done as the bodily tissues become very sensitive in PCOS. It specifically helps to lose weight in PCOS by removing excessive fats.
- Stretching helps to strengthen the tissues inside body, if done smartly. Those stretches should be picked which could target a specific tissue inside body and make it strong.
- Always make sure to be gentle with the body during stretching and it is recommended not to bounce much. Warm the muscles before stretching as it will help to stretch easily.
- It helps to relieve stress which is highly noticed in females affected with PCOS. By managing stress, hormonal imbalance in PCOS can be directly targeted due to the link between stress and hormones.
- It also helps to promote weight loss. Weight gain is the major effect of PCOS. Thus, yoga contributes to stabilize the mind and losing weight by burning calories.
- Another contribution of yoga in improving health of PCOS-affecting females is the incorporation of fertility. Infertility is the major outcome of PCOS. But yoga helps to inhibit infertility by maintaining hormonal balance in brain through enhancing blood supply.
- Some of those yoga asanas that help to provide relief in PCOS include Badhakonasana (butterfly pose), Supta Badhakonasana (reclining butterfly pose), Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s twist), Bhuajangasana (cobra pose), Naukasana (boat pose), Dhanurasana (bow pose), Viparita shalabhasana (superman pose), Balasana (child’s pose), Chakki chalasana (mill churning pose), Marjaryasana and Bitilasana (Cat and cow pose), etc.
These exercises for PCOS women can do wonders if adopted in day-to-day life because only medications can’t make a person healthy for life time. Moreover, medications alone can cure your disease once but combining with exercise can benefit you more for ages.