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Dec 1

Exercise For PCOS: Sample Plan, Types of Exercise, and More – Healthline

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that affects an estimated 8 to 13 percent of women who are of reproductive age.

PCOS can cause:

While these dont happen to every woman with PCOS, there are changes from a lifestyle perspective that can help reduce the likelihood these effects will occur.

This article will focus on some of the changes you can implement today, such as diet and exercise routines. As always, if you have specific questions, talk to your doctor who helps you manage your PCOS.

Women with PCOS experience higher rates of insulin resistance compared to women who dont have the condition. Insulin resistance affects your bodys ability to use blood sugar for energy.

Doctors have connected a lack of physical activity and excess body weight as potential contributing factors to insulin resistance, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Not all women with PCOS have overweight. The good news is physical exercise is something you can do for your health when you have PCOS, regardless of your weight.

A meta-analysis of 16 studies related to PCOS and exercise found that vigorous intensity aerobic exercise was the most likely to reduce body mass index (BMI) and insulin resistance in women with PCOS, according to an article in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.

The researchers compared moderate exercise to vigorous exercise. They also found that vigorous exercise and healthy diet interventions resulted in the greatest decreases in BMI.

A research review of lifestyle interventions in PCOS published in the journal Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology found that exercise helped to reduce weight, abdominal fat, and fasting insulin levels.

The review also found exercise could help women of all weight levels with PCOS either lose or maintain their weight to help them look and feel healthier.

A literature review of studies published in the journal Sports Medicine regarding types of exercises, such as strength training and aerobic activity, did not find one specific exercise type was the most beneficial to women with PCOS.

Some of the studies reviewed aerobic exercise and resistance training, riding a stationary bicycle versus riding a bicycle outside, and treadmill walking or jogging at a moderate intensity versus vigorous intensity. The authors did find there are many exercise types that could benefit women with PCOS.

The message from these and other studies is that exercise can usually help you when you have PCOS, and the best exercise is what you will do regularly. Bonus points if the exercise can be something you enjoy doing.

Here are some exercise types to consider:

These are just some examples of exercises you can do with minimal equipment and space.

Researchers have completed several studies regarding the best diet types for those with PCOS to follow. The Androgen Excess and PCOS Society used this research to make recommendations for women, which include:

If you arent sure where to start with incorporating these changes to your diet, talk to your doctor. Your doctor also may recommend seeing a dietitian to create an eating plan specific to women with PCOS.

Exercise to improve your PCOS doesnt have to take hours a week. Studies have found exercise sessions ranging from 30 minutes a day, three times a week, to three total hours per week improved metabolic and reproductive symptoms associated with PCOS.

The Androgen Excess and PCOS Society recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day and increasing your activity effort when you can. Some of the ways you can incorporate exercise in your life include the following:

If boredom is a factor in your commitment to an exercise routine, utilize a combination of these exercise types, such as completing a different exercise session type three times a week.

Try to incorporate the following habits for healthy eating with each meal and snack:

Using these guidelines, you can often stay within recommended daily calorie requirements given your overall height, health level, and weight.

When you have PCOS, its always a good idea to talk to your doctor about the lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health. When it comes to exercise for your PCOS, its especially important you talk to your doctor if you have other medical conditions that could affect your ability to exercise. Examples include arthritis or heart-related conditions.

If you have been sedentary for some time or dont have a solid foundation in exercise safety or proper form, it may be a good idea to consult a personal trainer. Your personal trainer should have a fitness certification from an accredited organization. Examples include:

Your trainer should be experienced and emphasize safety.

Exercise can be an important part of your PCOS management. Not only does it improve your physical health, exercise can help you manage your stress levels.

If you arent sure where to start, seeing your doctor and finding a personal trainer can help set you on a safe pathway. Exercising at least three times a week and sticking with it can help you improve symptoms from PCOS.

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Exercise For PCOS: Sample Plan, Types of Exercise, and More - Healthline

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