Why regular exercise is crucial for managing PCOS symptoms

A literature review of studies, published in the journal called Sports Medicine, stated that one specific exercise type has not been found to be the most helpful to women with PCOS.

workoutYoga can be beneficial for people with PCOS.
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PCOS has become dangerously common, and it can be challenging to manage. Research has shown that exercising regularly and managing your diet are key ways to help cope with stubborn PCOS symptoms.

Anavi Someshwar, a fitness expert, and founder of ‘Hack Your Hormones,’ a program designed to sync with a woman’s menstrual phases, recommended a workout routine for people with PCOS.

“Exercising can be difficult for women with PCOS because of insulin resistance. The body’s ability to use energy and effectively burn calories reduces. However, despite that, it’s incredibly integral for women with PCOS to participate in some sort of strength or resistance training activities at least thrice a week for 40 mins. It’s also a good idea to mix this up with cardio. Pilates works phenomenally too,” she explained.

“Mind-body exercise like yoga is essential as well. Managing stress levels is a good goal to have since stress worsens PCOS. Strength training using weights or your own body weight can combat insulin resistance,” the expert added.

According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a lack of physical activity and excess body weight has been linked to insulin resistance. However, a literature review of studies published in the journal called Sports Medicine states that one specific exercise type has not been found to be the most helpful to women with PCOS.

For women with PCOS, Healthline recommends HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training), which involve having intense exercise bursts such as burpees, tuck jumps, and mountain climbers, along with a few rest intervals to balance it out.

Just as the expert recommends, strength training can be incredibly helpful too. This type of exercise involves using resistance bands, weights, or your own body weight to build muscle.

Someshwar urged people to find out what works for them. “There are as many options. If you don’t want to go to the gym, you can do workouts from Youtube at home. You can even dance if you enjoy that — that counts as cardio. If you get bored of exercising easily, use a combination of different types of exercise methods. There’s always a way,” she explained.

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First published on: 16-04-2023 at 15:30 IST


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