PCOS and Exercise

Physical Activity is Key

Insulin resistance and chronically high insulin and LH levels are reasons women with PCOS are unable to ovulate and also the reason many suffer other troubling symptoms.  There have been a number of studies which now confirm that physical activity is an essential factor in managing PCOS - and physical activity can also increase fertility as well as enhance a healthy lifestyle.

Visceral fat, the fat that surrounds organs, is best lost through a program of diet and exercise.  While weight loss is affected by diet alone, or by exercise alone, studies have shown that belly fat (visceral) is affected by the combination of both.  Women with PCOS, as a rule, are unable to lose weight, and this very factor makes them targets of diabetes and heart disease, both of which are often accompanying diseases of PCOS.  

Weight Loss Not the Only Goal

Weight loss alone is not the only goal.  Losing weight, without maintaining proper muscle mass can leave a woman open to weakness and thereby susceptible to other health issues.  Studies done on insulin resistant women have shown that a diet low in fat and consisting of low-glycemic foods such as fish, nuts, fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy and legumes, along with a moderate exercise program helps to improve waist-to-hip ratio (meaning belly fat was lost), which in turn improves PCOS symptoms

While exercise alone can help improve glucose, fat metabolism and reduction of body fat - you may not lose much weight by just exercising.  However, exercise is very effective in improving the metabolic processes which in turn has a pronounced effect on heart health, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even some forms of cancers.  A moderate exercise program not only has physical benefits, but also helps with mental outlook.  Exercise promotes the propagation of endorphins, which in turn help with mood and emotions.  Since depression is also an accompanying feature of PCOS, exercise can benefit greatly in this regard as well.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

Regular exercise provides many wonderful health benefits, not the least of which is improvement in some PCOS symptoms.  Proper diet alone is very beneficial to management of blood sugar, weight management and numerous other health benefits.  The combination of both healthy diet and regular exercise is a winning method to speed progress in management of PCOS symptoms such as insulin resistance, fertility and weight loss.  Add to that increased endorphin production which affects mood, and you have an effective, natural program to address PCOS.

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