Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that affects women of reproductive age. It is one of the most common female disorders in the UAE and in the whole world. Exercise is an important part of the management and treatment of PCOS, as it can help reduce symptoms and improve overall health. Regular physical activity and incorporating PCOS exercise plans into your daily routine can help reduce weight, reduce insulin resistance, and improve hormone levels. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems associated with PCOS. Additionally, engaging in PCOS exercise plans can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels.
There are many ways to manage PCOS, one of which includes exercising.
Let’s have a look at how exercise can help manage PCOS and what exercises are the best for PCOS patients.
However, before that, let’s dig a little deeper into what exactly PCOS is.
PCOS In a Nutshell
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormone problem in which you may not have periods very often or your periods may last for many days. It is basically characterised by the excessive production of a hormone called androgen in the body.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, insulin resistance, low-grade inflammation, heredity and excess androgen in the body are linked with PCOS.
PCOS, if not managed properly, can lead to many complications, such as:
high blood cholesterol levels
high blood pressure levels
increased risk of pregnancy complications
depression and anxiety
However, early diagnosis and treatment of PCOS along with proper weight loss management can lower the risk of these long-term complications.
Apart from medications, the two most crucial components of PCOS management include a PCOS exercise plan and diet, one of which we are going to discuss in this article.
Exercise For PCOS: Why Is It Important?
Exercise helps women with PCOS in more than one way. Some of the ways in which exercise can be beneficial for women with PCOS are:
- Lowers Insulin Resistance
Women with PCOS experience higher rates of insulin resistance as compared to other people. Insulin resistance affects your body’s ability to use blood sugar levels properly and also increases the risk of getting diabetes. Exercising helps reduce insulin resistance.
- Manages Weight
Lack of physical activity is connected to excess body weight, and managing weight is crucial in PCOS management as it helps lower insulin resistance and androgen levels and restores ovulation.
- Manages Infertility
PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Exercise has been found to restore the ovulation cycle and improve the regularity of cycles in women, thereby managing infertility.
- Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
The metabolic abnormalities that occur as a result of PCOS often serve as risk factors for CVD or cardiovascular diseases. Exercise helps improve metabolism and reduce the risk of CVD in women with PCOS.
Exercise for PCOS: The Best Type
Many studies have been conducted to find out the best exercise type for women with PCOS. The conclusion of all the studies is that exercising helps manage PCOS, irrespective of the type.
The best exercise is the one you can do regularly and can enjoy.
Some Exercise Types for PCOS
If you are still looking for some PCOS exercise plans, here are some ideas you can consider
- Steady-State Cardiovascular Workouts
These workouts when done at a moderate rate can get your heart pumping. Some of the popular forms of this type of exercise include walking, riding a bicycle, dancing or taking an aerobics class.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This type of exercise involves balancing intense exercise busts with rest intervals. Some popular exercises of this type include burpees, tuck jumps and mountain climbing.
- Interval Training
In this type of exercise, you work out at different intensity levels but not necessarily to the heart rate max done in HIIT. It usually involves different exercises done in the same session to keep your heart rate up.
- Mind-Body Exercises
Women with PCOS usually have an enhanced bodily response to stress and distress. Mind-body exercises like yoga and Tai chi help reduce stress levels and also manage weight and PCOS.
- Strength Training
Strength training helps build healthy muscles and bones, consequently maintaining healthy body weight. This type of exercise usually includes using resistance bands, weights or your own body weight to build muscles.
On a Final Note
Exercise is an important part of PCOS management. It not only helps manage body weight and stress levels but also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The best type of exercise for PCOS is the one you can practise regularly and enjoy. If you are unsure of the type of PCOS exercise plan to follow, you can consult a trainer or doctor, and they can guide you through this journey.