Dear Robin: “How important is the low impact exercise for healing from PCOS? I currently workout 5 days a week for a min of an hour doing everything from weights to spin type classes to more cardio type classes. For me to switch to all low impact all the time means I will have to quit my gym losing my cardio capability not to mention a huge social hole in my life… it is the only time I see people all day!” ~ Colleen
Dear Colleen: There’s good news here. But first I want to explain something simple. If you are suffering from symptoms of hormone imbalance, then you have some healing to do. Healing cannot take place with intense exercise. Your stress hormones will stay high and your insulin resistance will get worse.
You are suffering from facial hair, backaches, headaches, heavy flow, irregular menstrual cycle and depression. Never mind the genetic part of all of this…if you are experiencing these symptoms you have to change the way you’re taking care of yourself so you can change your genetic expression.
There are three levels of exercise: Healing, Recovery and Fitness. You have to start in the Healing phase first to balance insulin and cortisol, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the gym. You can walk around the gym. You can add weights while you’re walking around the gym. You can do gentle yoga, stretching, tai chi, Qigong, slow swimming, etc. But the very best is relaxed walking because it lowers stress hormones and improves insulin sensitivity.
Here’s how you know you can move on to the Recovery phase. Keep track of your hunger, energy, cravings, sleep, period and mental clarity. We do this in our program. If you’re feeling pretty good around these, then you can begin to add a bit more in.
The bottom line here, is that you can’t move faster than your body has resources for. Make the gym more of a social outing and do things that give your body some love right now. Give it a try for a week and let me know what you notice. ~ Robin
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