What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that is usually seen in women between the ages of 15 and 40. This condition, which is experienced by 24% of women all around the world today, is characterized by the growth of small cysts all over the ovaries that cause a hormonal imbalance. Some of the symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, male pattern hair loss or balding, excessive facial hair, acne, excessive weight gain leading to obesity, and in many cases, even infertility. While millions of women globally suffer from this condition, most don’t even realise it until they are diagnosed by a medical professional. If you suffer from one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should consult a gynaecologist or endocrinologist to check if you have PCOS.
While there is no guaranteed cure to PCOS yet, there are many effective remedies available that can help you cope with the side effects of this condition. The most commonly prescribed medicines for women suffering from PCOS are birth control pills or long-acting contraceptives. However, the healthiest way to fight PCOS is exercise.
How does exercise help with treating PCOS?
PCOS causes insulin resistance, a condition where the body cannot respond properly to the insulin being created internally and converts it into fat instead of using it as a source of energy. This, in turn, causes weight gain and in severe cases, even morbid obesity. Exercise helps prevent insulin resistance. Exercise helps burn all the glucose that is converted into sugar flowing through the blood making one feel energised. It is also a great way of cleaning your body of all the toxins that are being collected and fermented as fat.
Exercise alone cannot cure PCOS, but if combined with a diet full of proteins, nutrients, vitamins and calcium, it can result in moderate weight loss. Even losing a small percentage of your body weight can help lower your risk of falling prey to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
What exercises help with PCOS?
A combination of cardio and strength training for a minimum of 30 minutes five times a week can prove to be very beneficial for weight loss and can help you manage your PCOS effectively. In order to improve sensitivity to insulin and regulate your hormones, you can even try less strenuous forms of exercise, such as yoga and meditation, that are calming yet effective. Walking three to four kilometres a day is also a form of exercise highly recommended by experts.
If you’re suffering from PCOS, it is very important that you maintain a stress-free or low-stress lifestyle, and exercise can help you with this. Exercise also helps with clearing acne and oiliness from your skin as, while exercising, you are giving your skin a chance to breathe through perspiration.
There are three main components that help treat PCOS: any form of exercise, a healthy and nutritious diet, and lastly, stress-free activities. If you choose a sport that you enjoy and that also serves as a stress buster, you have managed to shoot two birds with one stone.
Also, make sure that the exercise you choose to do is not too strenuous on your body. Take into consideration not only your age but also any past injuries or wounds.