There is a lot of confusion among women about exercises one should do in PCOS so I thought to compile everything at one place. Weight gain in PCOS is mainly in and around your waist area (it is called as central obesity) and is the toughest weight to loose, it is also called as visceral fat because it mainly accumulates around our organs like liver, heart and reproductive organ making it difficult to conceive hence it is very important to know the right kind of workout and also to find what works for you.
Following are some of the most proven forms of exercise in PCOS.
Disclaimer – Even though this is generally true for all exercise related post, do not try or do this without consulting your physician/physical therapist in case of an injury or ailment and otherwise.
1) High intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT has been very popular form of workout among athletes from very old times,it is now when fitness is a million dollar industry, HIIT is accessible to general population and also because of the better availability of the information people are starting to pick up HIIT.
In an understandable term HIIT is a form of extremely vigorous exercise followed by short interval or break and then going again. Research shows it’s better to boost your metabolism and the process of burning calories continues for 24-48 hours post workout. An important thing to note here is, in women with PCOS, intense form of exercise 2-4 times a week has shown improved insulin resistance overall which is the main underlying problem. HIIT is also beneficial if you are trying to loose weight in PCOS as it is the ultimate way to burn calories.
Find out from your trainer and preferrably start from low cardio for 10 minutes to increasing the intensity slowly over time. Here are some of the useful regime that can be picked up!
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Even if you could do this 3 times a week it would be extremely beneficial.
HIIT helps improves stamina, It will also help you regulate your cycle (specially if you don’t get periods at all). The important thing to remember is keep changing your workouts, do not stick to same ones if you want to do it for long time. Doing the same things over and over again brings boredom and prevents us from sticking to our routine.
** Do not pick up HIIT if you are not used to any form of cardio/exercise routine. If you are starting new, try picking up low intensity exercise like running/jogging/aerobics for about a month and than switch on to HIIT.
2) Low impact steady state workout
HIIT is even more effective when combined with low impact steady state workout or LISS. Don’t worry, it’s just a fancy name for basically anything doable but for longer period of time. Like playing baseball or skipping rope to simply moving in a steady state. LISS is important because it helps you to regain strength and helps you stretch when not vigorously working out. LISS is more important if you are looking to build a habit to work out because it is less tiring, chances are you will stick to it better.
Also there are no taking breaks in between, once you start LISS, you need to keep moving for at the least 45 minutes unlike HIIT.
LISS could be as simple as running on a treadmill to jogging outside. There has been tons of results on which is better for what but I personally believe, for PCOS per say,it’s important to combine both not only for weight loss but for you to manage your weight as well.
3) Strength training
Strength training is equally important for any one suffering from PCOS. It’s a wrong notion that people have – that doing weights can build muscles or make you gain weight! No, weights is important to keep in check your stamina/endurance, something truly important in any metabolic condition. Probably more important than cardio. So please do not skip weight training,mixing weight with cardio can help you beat boredom and stick to your exercise routine.
Last but not least, yoga is the most beneficial form of exercise to pick up for PCOS. Yoga specifically helps with hormonal imbalance and is very effective in controlling mood swings. There are different kind of poses you can pick up, some of the helpful ones are: