PCOS and Weight Loss

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects between 12-18% of women, it is a reproductive-age endocrine disease characterize by insulin resistance, low-grade inflammatory status and chronic anovulation.

To be honest – there isn’t much research into the specific kind of exercise beneficial for PCOS. Exercise-specific interventions in PCOS studies are limited and therefore they gain more insights into the mechanisms of exercise action and the impact of exercise on PCOS.

One particular article found resistance exercises decreased abdominal obesity. Not only does this effectively improve insulin sensitivity, but it also improves levels of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) in women with PCOS, as increased abdominal deposition is associate with increased synthesis of androgens. A combination of strength and aerobic training is beneficial as strength training builds muscle to increase your basal metabolic rate, and aerobic exercise has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in women with PCOS.

How much exercise do I need?

Women should aim for:

  • 20-40 minutes of moderate activity or 70-150 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination of both
  • At least 2 x strength training sessions a week
  • Less inactivity and more incidental activity during the week

This workout increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin by causing the muscles to absorb glucose from the blood, which reduces the requirement for insulin at that time.

Remember that if we can manage insulin, we can better manage testosterone, the cause of many of our PCOS symptoms.

The findings of exercise and PCOS and Weight Loss have found that lifestyle modifications such as nutrition and employing resistance and aerobic exercise are beneficial in regard to the biochemical findings of women with PCOS. Starting an exercise program has seen a decrease in fasting insulin levels as well as improved sex hormones.

Where to seek help when wanting to lose weight and living with PCOS

If you are new to exercise and have no exercise history and have other health problems, it is recommend to seek medical advice before commencing an exercise program. Seek an Accredit Exercise Physiologist to get a program that is specifically tailor to you.

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