Exercise, working out, hitting the gym, getting fit. These are words and phrases we see often in the media. Personally, I believe this is both good and bad. Good- GREAT even because awareness of living a healthy, active lifestyle is making its way around. Bad- UGLY even because the media uses these phrases to make us feel not good enough, not beautiful, and just plain fat and ugly compared to the thigh-gapped, washboard-abs kind of gal on the magazine cover or website.
This is especially frustration for us ladies with PCOS, because we have an especially hard time finding the energy to exercise, and often it isn’t enough to help bring our weight down. But enough of my rant, and NO MORE to all the media crap.
Let’s exercise because we want to, because it’s FUN and because we get RESULTS.
Below are the top exercises that are beneficial for PCOS, and you might even enjoy some of these activities.
Yoga, yoga yoga. This is a very trendy activity these days, and people are paying big bucks for stretchy pants and fancy mats. I fear that takes the focus away from yoga. The focus of inner and outer healing, of personal and spiritual development, of calmness and peace.
These are the attributes that are especially helpful for us ladies with PCOS. Yoga helps us to release deeply stored tension, often in the pelvic area in the case of PCOS. This is why yoga postures especially beneficial for PCOS often open the hips and pelvis, as well as de-stress and detoxify.
My experience with yoga has been a great one. Recently, I completed the 30-Day Yoga Challenge and did experience less stress, a better period and uplifted moods. I urge you to give this or another yoga class a try. You will NEVER regret getting on your mat.
Some great postures to try on your own:
- Happy Baby
- Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
- Sun Salutation
- Cobra Pose
- Reclining Butterfly Pose
In addition to a yoga practice, or for those who like a challenge, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is for you. HIIT combines bodyweight resistance and cardio exercises in short bursts over a short period of time for maximum impact. No more hour-long treadmill walks. Usually between 10 to 35 minutes, these workouts pack a powerful punch.
HIIT is a FREE and fun activity that is especially good for us ladies with PCOS because it reduces insulin problems and helps to decrease excess body fat. You’ll also be building lean, strong muscle during HIIT, and we all know that muscle burns more calories even at rest than fat does.
I did mention that HIIT was FUN, right? Getting your heart pumping just enough to get some sweat-on but not enough to make you flat out exhausted is always a good choice. Plus there’s the added benefit of happy-enducing chemicals like endorphins that rise and make us feel dynamic when we exercise.
Here are some great beginner HIIT workouts:
This is 100% my favourite way to exercise. Anytime I can move my body in the fresh air and sunshine energizes me like crazy. The cool thing is, studies have actually shown this! Participants reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and declared a greater intent to REPEAT the activity at a later date.
WOWZA. Great news when you’re afflicted with a big lack of motivation and energy, and mood problems.
So, what can you do outside?
- Jump Rope
- Cutting Grass
- Outdoor Yoga
- Outdoor Fitness Class
Not So Nice Weather
- Do NOT exercise outdoors during any kind of weather warning including snow, ice, excessive heat or cold
- Snow Shovelling
- Winter Sports like hockey
- Football (maybe in the rain?)
What are you doing for exercise? Have you noticed a positive difference in your PCOS because of it?