There are so many benefits of exercise to help you overcome symptoms of PCOS. When done correctly you can improve insulin sensitivity, which can help you to feel better in so many ways and can also help to build happy brain chemistry promoting better sleep, improved relationships and a better handle on cravings. Not only does exercise help with PCOS symptoms it can improve an array of other health-related issues.
Stressful exercise causes an increase in
- Stress hormones
- Insulin – more insulin resistance
Exercise done incorrectly due to excess intensity or duration can raise stress hormones and cause the body to break down. This causes stress hormones to break down muscle to release sugar into the bloodstream causing insulin to rise. This in turn causes inflammation and over time can lead to insulin resistance. All the things we don’t want!
Smart, hormone-balancing exercise is key. This approach will help heal your symptoms because it will lower inflammation and slow down the conversion of pregnenolone to testosterone, and estrogen which creates an imbalance estrogen and progesterone.
Hormone-balancing exercise supports a decrease in
- Stress hormones
- Insulin – more insulin sensitive
Where should you begin your exercise? Think hormone-balanced types of exercise where you’ll keep your stress hormones balanced. Exercise is what we call “Movement as Medicine” and it’s Element #3 in our 5-Element System.
Lets get moving!
Robin’s Top Exercises & Movement for Hormone Balance
- Walking – gradually work up to 10K steps daily – each week add 1000 steps (about 10 minutes) to your average from the previous week and you’ll reach this goal in no time.
- Slow swimming
- Yoga (not high intensity or advanced)
- Ball core exercises
- Weight training with dumbbells, machines, resistance bands or body weight, certain types of yoga and Pilates
- Bike riding (not endurance or racing)
- Interval exercise: go hard for 30 seconds and then go slowly until your heart rate returns to normal. Repeat 3-4 times. (example: flights of stairs)
- Dancing for fun!
Nutrients for a better hormone response from exercise:
- Phosphatidyl Serine: 150mg pre and post workout to help lower the cortisol response, learn more and purchase here
- Zinc can lower the adrenaline response to exercise. See Insulite nutrients
- Insulite Nutrients: they contain CoQ10 and other antioxidants that help to protect you from oxidative stress that happens during exercise along with nutrients that help with improved insulin sensitivity and overall stress response, helping to make you more stress-tolerant to exercise.
All we know is that exercise is good for us, and it is especially good for women with PCOS. It may take a few attempts at something new to find the type of exercise that works best for you and that you enjoy doing. Feeling good mentally about your exercise choice will only make the actions of the exercise that much easier and will keep you motivated to stick with it.
Grab a friend! Exercising with a friend is so much fun and can help keep you accountable. Plus you’ll make more of your good-feeling hormone oxytocin, just by hanging out with a favorite friend.
Remember that the right amount of exercise that is best for someone else may not be best for you. Allowing your body rest and recovery is just as important as exercising – sleep, whole foods and nutrient support will restore and replenish your body. Allow your body to move in many ways during the week – include light strength training, interval training and gentle yoga for example. All positive actions of exercise will release those good feeling endorphins that will help keep you buzzing through the day.
It’s an alarming fact that just two days of inactivity can disrupt your body’s efficient use of insulin, which, if left unchecked, may result in the condition called Insulin Resistance. This imbalance of blood glucose and insulin levels can lead to many of the symptoms of PCOS.
Enjoy your exercise and let me know what you love doing to keep the blood flowing!
To learn more about the PCOS 5-Element System to get the step-by-step approach to taking charge and feel fabulous: https://pcos.com/5-elements-of-the-insulite-pcos-system