Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant. Insulin resistance (IR) is the body’s imparied response to insulin that causes elevated blood sugars. While physical activity and exercise do not completely ameliorate the symptoms of PCOS, a study published in Sports Medicine emphasises the clear role of exercise in moderating and managing PCOS symptoms.
When considering which type of exercise is most beneficial, the study further says that resistance training, HIIT training and combination of both can help increase cardiovascular fitness, control insulin resistance, improve reproductive features such as the Anti-Müllerian Hormone [AMH], a marker of ovarian function; menstrual cyclicity, and psychological well-being in women with PCOS.
While resistance training focuses on improving muscular fitness, HIIT controls excess testosterone and insulin resistance. Some experts recommend limited endurance-related cardio as it may put the body through more inflammation which can worsen symptoms of PCOS.
Dr. Sneha Desu, MBBS, NASM, AAHF (Pre & Postnatal Fitness) has created this 15-minute workout to help you stretch and strengthen your muscles.
Further, this workout can be done at home (no equipment needed). All you need is 15 minutes in a day and the key is to work for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds. Do 3 rounds of all the exercises. The focus of these exercises is to engage all the muscles.
1. Glute bridge
- Lie on the mat, back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Keep your arms at your sides, palms facing down.
- Lift your hips off the ground. Ensure that your hips, knees, and shoulders are in a straight line. Hold for a few seconds.
- Return to start.
2. Side kick through
- Begin in a high plank position. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart.
- Support weight with one arm and raise the other while rotating your body.
- In one sweeping motion, rotate the body and step one leg through to the opposite side (rotate hips).
- Keep rapidly alternating the sides.
- Perform faster than a regular side kick through (that uses both arms planted)
3. Moving plank
- Begin by lying on your stomach, facing down. Raise yourself up onto your elbows, which should be at a 90-degree and directly beneath your shoulders. Bend your knees for added support
- Hold this knee plank position—shoulders, hip, knees in one straight line.
- Drop down onto your elbows and come back up onto your palms.
- Again drop down your elbows and come back up onto your arm.
- Avoid swing your hips as you move up and down.
4. Bird dog
- Begin with a tabletop posture.
- Raise your right arm and left leg off the ground, keep your shoulders and hips parallel.
- Squeeze your upper back, hold this position for a few seconds before lowering yourself back to your starting position.
- Now, raise your left arm and right leg simultaneously. Before repeating, hold this position for a few seconds.