Exercise for PCOS: Plan of Action and Dietary Habits

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a variety of endocrine conditions, affects between 4-12 percent of women of reproductive age. PCOS can be caused by high androgen levels, irregular periods, or small cysts on one or both of the ovaries. 60% of women with PCOS are obese or insulin resistant. About 40% of women with PCOS may develop diabetes by 50. Many are also at high risk for developing it. (Link to study)

According to a studyAccording to the National Institute of Health Office of Disease Prevention PCOS affects approximately 5,000,000 US women of reproductive age. PCOS can also lead to an increase of male hormones than the average. This hormonal imbalance can cause them to miss their periods, making it difficult for them to conceive. It can also lead long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Postmenopausal women who have PCOS, especially those with Diabetes, are at higher risk of developing a clinical heart disease. 

The diagnosis of PCOS has sparked an increase in scientific interest. Scientists should channel this interest towards developing better clinical methods and therapeutic solutions. Although there is no cure, there are ways to control it. 

How does PCOS affect my body?

PCOS is a condition that affects a woman’s ovaries, which are the reproductive organs that generate oestrogen and progesterone. They regulate the menstrual cycles. An individual who has a lot of cysts is named “polycystic.” The ovaries also develop androgens, male hormones produced at negligible levels. The ovaries create eggs, fertilised by a man’s sperm. Ovulation is the monthly release of eggs. The pituitary produces FSH and LH, which regulate ovulation. 

The immature eggs in the sac-like follicles can trigger ovulation. ResearchIt is believed that irregular periods are caused by insufficient ovulation.

PCOS is a “syndrome,” or a group of symptoms that affects ovulation and the ovaries. It has three primary characteristics.

  • First, ovarian Cysts are cysts that occur in the ovaries.
  • In excess of normal levels of male hormones
  • Periods that are missing or inconsistent

Cysts can be dangerous but not fatal. PCOS can cause irregular menstrual cycles (eg, irregular periods), elevated androgen levels (sex hormone), excessive hair growth, acne and obesity.

According to the studiesPsychological problems, such as depression or other mood disorders, as well metabolic problems like insulin resistance or compensatory hyperinsulinemia, can have a significant influence on androgen production and metabolism. PCOS is also characterized by an increased androgen secretion, as well as obesity in most women. This can lead to a phenotype, and may encourage the development of it.

Primary Causes of PCOS

PCOS causes are not clear. PCOS can be caused by many things. For example, studyThis suggests that genes may also be responsible. Other factors could also be involved. 

  • High levels of androgens (male hormones). 
  • Increased testosterone levels means that the ovaries can’t release eggs (ovulation), which causes irregular menstruation periods. 
  • A deficiency in ovulation can cause relative deficiencies in progesterone-producing ovary cells, which often results in the absence or very few monthly cycles.

PCOS: Common Symptoms

  • Missed Periods, irregular and very mild
  • Ovaries with lots of cysts 
  • Excessive bodyhair, especially on the stomach, back, and chest (hirsutism).
  • Weight gain, especially around your belly (abdomen).
  • Acne and acne-prone skin
  • Hair loss or male-pattern hair baldness
  • Infertility
  • Excessive skin (skin tags), small pieces of skin around the neck and armpits.
  • There are dark patches or thick spots of skin on the neck, breasts, armpits and armpits.
  • Headaches are also common. 
  • Dark patches of skin may appear in the neck, pelvis, or under the breasts.

PCOS and Exercise

StudiesMultiple studies have shown that PCOS people can benefit from weight loss in many ways. Weight loss can be aided by a reduction in androgen, LH, and insulin. Regular exercise and nutrition (CVD) can help to reduce the risk of T2DM, cardiovascular disease, and other complications. There are both direct and indirect relationships between weight gain and PCOS. 

PCOS can be treated by changing your lifestyle. Insulin resistance is more common among women with PCOS than it is in those without the condition. It is a condition that impairs your body’s capacity to use blood sugar for energy. PCOS patients do not have to be overweight. The good news is that you can still benefit from physical activity, regardless of your weight.

Moderate Exercises

The ResearchAerobic exercise was compared to resistance training, treadmill walking, jogging at a moderate pace against high intensity, and riding on a stationary bicycle as opposed to riding outside. Researchers found that moderate exercise is beneficial for women with PCOS. Walking for 30 minutes three times a week, for example, can help you lose weight and control your insulin levels.

Cardiovascular Workouts

Moderate exercise can get your heart rate up to 50% to 70%. Walking, cycling, dancing, or enrolling in an aerobics class is the best way to exercise. You can spot jog in your own home with a mat and well-cushioned footwear if you have limited time. Before you begin, do some stretching exercises. You can also try a home trampoline workout. 


Women with PCOS can enjoy pool workouts such as swimming or aqua aerobics. Increase the number of laps. Increase speed and distance. Swimming is good for all muscle groups and less painful than other activities. Swimming is cooling on hot summer days and improves your sleep quality. 

Exercises to Calm the Mind

Yoga, Pilates and tai chi can be mind-body exercises that can help reduce stress and calories, which can worsen your PCOS symptoms.

StudiesYoga has been shown to lower testosterone levels, anxiety, and depression in women with PCOS. As per the same study, one hour of yoga three days a week helped reduce free testosterone levels (from 5.96 vs 4.24 pg/ml; P<0.5). Measurements included dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, body mass index and waist to hip ratio. It also measured fasting sugar and insulin levels as well as anxiety and depression scores. 

HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval Training (HIIT), which combines intense exercise with periods of relaxation, is a form of high-intensity interval fitness. A HIIT workout includes joint exercises such as burpees and tuck jumps. It improves women’s insulin resistance and muscle strength, altering overall body fat composition. 

Interval Training

The heart rate can be kept high by working out at different intensities with different exercises. Interval training can make a big difference in your health, even though it produces a lower heart rate than HIIT. It all depends on how often and how long you do it. 

Core Strength

If you are trying to conceive and have PCOS, it is worth strengthening your lower back and posture. It would also help if you did pelvic floor strengthening exercises. It prevents incontinence, enhances libido, pelvic stability, and supports a healthy baby. 

Strength Training

Bodyweight exercises increase muscle mass and metabolism. It improves insulin resistance. Women with PCOS can do squats and push-ups as well as tricep dips. 

It helps you lose weight by burning more calories when you exercise or at rest. 

Playing a sport

Playing table tennis, badminton or outdoor tennis can help you break out of the rut. Any age is a good time to learn new skills. Do not wait. Register for new sports activities. 

Lifestyle modifications to combat PCOS

StudiesResearch shows that behavioural techniques can help women achieve their weight-loss goals. This can help with PCOS symptoms. It is possible to improve the outcomes of weight control programs for women who have PCOS by incorporating psychological and behavioral methods like goal-setting self-monitoring and cognitive restructuring. Problem-solving and relapse avoidance are all possible. It is also important to have better motivation, support and psychological well-being strategies. These can be used for the treatment of PCOS in women at all stages of their lives. 

PCOS management can be helped by self-care habits like avoiding over-commitment and getting enough sleep. One would then be more motivated to exercise and less likely fall off the wagon. 

PCOS and Diet

A regulated diet plan is essential to make an exercise plan effective. According to many experts, an exercise program is only effective if it is accompanied by a healthy diet. studiesPCOS can be controlled by eating healthy food. Two important ways nutrition can impact PCOS are weight control and insulin resistance. However, insulin plays an important role in controlling insulin levels. A PCOS diet is one way to manage the condition.

People with PCOS may feel more satisfied if they eat a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs, maintains a healthy weight, and promotes optimal insulin levels. There is no set diet for PCOS. There is some discussion and agreement about which foods are best for managing PCOS and which ones to avoid. 

A diet with a low glycemic (GI)

Your body processes foods with a lower GI more slowly than foods with a higher GI. This causes insulin levels to rise slower or not as quickly as foods that have a higher GI (such as certain carbs). A low GI diet includes whole grains, legumes and seeds, fruits, vegetables, and other unprocessed low-carbohydrate foods.

The DASH Diet

Doctors often recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop hypertension (DASH), diet to lower the risk and impact of heart disease. It may also help with PCOS symptoms. DASH diets are rich in whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits, veggies, and low-fat milk products.

Other Healthy Diets:

Unrefined, natural foods high in fibre are examples of fatty fish. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are dark red fruits. Cauliflower is a good source of healthy fats. Examples of nuts include walnuts, almonds and pine nuts.

A studyStudies have shown that losing weight can improve the appearance of PCOS, regardless of diet. Weight loss should be a goal of all overweight women with PCOS regardless of their diet. This can be achieved by reducing caloric intake and making intelligent food choices.

Foods to Avoid

Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pastries, white bread, and fried foods should be avoided. Carbonated drinks such as soda and energy drinks are high-sugar, so you should avoid them. Steak, hamburger, and pork are all meats that women with PCOS shouldn’t eat.

Tips for Planning an Eating and Working Out Plan for PCOS

Exercise doesn’t have to take hours each week to improve your PCOS. For those with PCOS, exercises can last from 30 minutes to 60 minutes per day, three times per week, or three hours each week.

Regular exercise for PCOD can include brisk walking and cycling, jogging or swimming, as well as a sample Indian diet. These exercises can help with weight loss, insulin resistance reduction and reproductive enhancement. They also help to alleviate sadness and anxiety.

Exercise Plan

  • Strength training and core strength exercises can be done at minimum twice a week to increase metabolism, build mass, and relieve lower back discomfort. Yoga can be used as a complement to other activities to maintain hormonal balance.  
  • For PCOS, tai-chi or Pilates in a gym, studio, or online is the best option. For those who are new to the practice of Pilates or tai chi, it is advisable to consult a trained instructor to ensure safety and form.
  • It is beneficial to walk or jog for 30 to 45 minutes. 
  • Aerobics is a great form of exercise. Many youtube videos provide easy, moderate, and difficult exercises for your convenience. 

Diet Plan

Sometimes, the nature of PCOS treatment can make it difficult to take prescription or over-the-counter medications to treat their condition. One is also concerned about the side effects of some PCOS therapies. Sometimes, doctors will recommend home treatment for mild symptoms in women who have the disease.

For healthy meals, you may want to consider the following: 

Eat a well-balanced diet

A well-balanced PCOS diet will aid in maintaining your body’s neutral, homeostatic state. A well-balanced PCOS diet can also help insulin work efficiently by transporting glucose to cells for energy.

Keep a consistent routine and meal times

It is important to eat all meals. Skipping meals can lead to blood sugar levels dropping, which can cause food cravings and overeating. If you follow a schedule, however, it will regulate blood sugar levels.

Choose Healthy Foods

Choose foods rich in nutrients and vitamins and minerals. Research shows that eating foods high in Vitamin D and Vitamin B, Iodine and Selenium can reduce insulin resistance and the severity of PCOS symptoms.

Exercise and, ideally, a weight loss of at least 5 to 10 % of a woman’s body weight can aid in the restoration of ovulation cycles and the improvement of cycle regularity. Combining exercise with diet can effectively control PCOS, infertility.

Planning healthy meals

The PCOD weight-reduction program will follow the same parameters, but it will be based on your BMI (body mass index) and BMR measurements in a calorie deficit.

  • Breakfast:Poha served with vegetables and buttermilk with flaxseed flour. Wheat dosa, vegetable oats and roasted chana-dal chutney.
  • Lunch:Brown rice with rasam dal and curd; brown rice pulao raita with sprouts curry, rasam, curd; brown rice pulao raita with brown rice 
  • Snacks:Low-glycemic fruits include apples, roasted chanas, whole wheat bread with almond butter and peanuts, as well as any seasonal fruit such as bananas. 
  • Dinner:Make chapati and roti with vegetable curry, besan chilla and chana masala with rice and chapati. 

The Impact of PCOS

PCOS symptoms are often characterized by high levels of certain hormones, known as androgens. Women with PCOS have hormonal imbalances, with higher than normal levels of androgens and lower than normal oestrogen levels. This can lead to high androgen levels.

  • Interfere in brain impulses that normally lead to ovulation. This can prevent ovulation occurring regularly.
  • Cause cysts to form by causing the follicles—small, fluid-filled cysts within the ovaries (where eggs grow and mature) to increase.
  • Other symptoms of PCOS include excessive hair growth and acne.
  • Numerous genetic studies on PCOS revealed genes that affect hormone levels and insulin resistance. PCOS could also be inherited from families. 
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which women gain weight. Obesity and overweight increase insulin resistance.
  • Hair development on the neck, chest, face, arms, legs, and chest (hirsutism).
  • According to studiesPCOS women have higher levels inflammation. Increased inflammation can cause an increase in androgen levels.

Pharmacological Treatments for PCOS

The polycystic-ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can be treated, can help you manage your symptoms. It can also reduce your risk for long-term health issues like diabetes or heart disease. To assess the severity of the condition, you should consult a gynaecologist. 

  • Two types of oral medication can be used to treat PCOS menstrual irregularities.
  • Birth control pills reduce ovulation and thus stop the monthly cycle.
  • Provera (medroxyprogesterone) is oral progesterone used to treat secondary amenorrhea in women.
  • Glucophage (metformin), a first-line oral diabetic drug, is used to treat insulin resistance in women who have PCOS. Actos (pioglitazone), an oral glucose-lowering medication, is also available.
  • Avandia, also known as rosiglitazone (or oral medication), is the same class of medication as pioglitazone. It is used by doctors to treat diabetes symptoms.
  • Weight loss can be achieved through pharmacological therapy, in addition to food and exercise. For example, Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) is a drug that reduces food cravings by stimulating the brain’s reward and hunger regions. Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate) is a similar appetite suppressant to Contrave.

Treatment of PCOS 

PCOS has no underlying cause. Therefore, treatment focuses only on the symptoms. Despite the fact that symptoms are common, not all treatments can resolve the condition. The treatment plan should include correcting anovulation, limiting the androgen impact of target tissues, and reducing insulin resistance. Lifestyle modifications include a healthy diet and regular exercise. 

The Conclusion

Although there’s presently no cure for PCOS, you can reduce PCOS symptoms. You can improve your quality life by eating healthy and engaging in physical activity. Exercise can help you manage your PCOS symptoms. It can help you manage stress levels and improve your overall health. 

PCOS can be treated by lifestyle changes, which are often recommended by health practitioners. However, if lifestyle modifications don’t work, medications are an alternative. By restoring regular menstrual cycles, birth control pills or metformin can help PCOS symptoms.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs).

Q. Q. Does PCOS disappear with exercise?

A. There is no cure yet for PCOS, and exercise won’t cure it. However, you can improve your PCOS symptoms by engaging in physical activity three times per day or daily. 

Q. Q. Can exercise make PCOS worse?

A. A few studies show that women with PCOS can lose weight if they do moderate-intensity exercise for 30 minutes at least three times per week. On the other hand, intense exercise can worsen PCOS symptoms, and persistent physical stress can cause the body to store fat and prevent muscle growth because it can’t tell the difference between self-imposed stress and an actual threat.

Q. Q.

A. Moderate exercise, such as running, cycling or swimming, can help with PCOS symptoms. In addition, this exercise improves your body’s insulin sensitivity, lowering your heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk.

Q. Q.

A. Mornings are the best time to exercise. You will see a significant improvement in your overall health if you start exercising at 7 AM. You will also lose more fat if you exercise in the morning than if you do it in the afternoon or in the evening.

Q. Can exercise reduce ovarian cysts?

A. Women with ovarian cyst discomfort can run and do light exercises such as yoga and stretching. But avoid doing extreme exercises.

Q. Q.

A. HIIT improves insulin resistance and body composition in women with PCOS, even if they don’t lose weight. However, there’s no need to go overboard. While you’re working out, pay attention to how you’re feeling. Don’t overwork yourself to the point of injury, tension, or suffering.

Q. Q. Can PCOS be treated with weight loss?

A. Unfortunately, there is no cure. Reducing weight can help normalize hormones in overweight and obese women. The treatment focuses on managing symptoms. There are many treatment options available to prevent potential problems.

Q. Q.

A. Exercise doesn’t have to take hours each week to improve your PCOS. Studies show that exercise sessions can be as short as 30 minutes per week and as long at three hours per week.

Q. Q.

A. Walk for 30 minutes daily. Alternate your pace by walking at a moderate pace for 5 min, then increasing to a fast pace for 5 min. It’s a great way to help your PCOS. 

Q. Q. How can you lose belly fat with PCOS

A. Fortunately a better diet and lifestyle modification can help correct hormonal imbalances due to PCOS. This will allow for you to stop and reverse belly growth.

  • You should eat the right diet for your body type
  • Try to eat 3-4 large portions of colorful vegetables each day.
  • For at least two weeks, avoid alcohol, processed foods and packaged foods.
  • 39-60 minutes of exercise each day, 4-6x per week
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