Best Exercises for PCOS : The Ultimate Guide! [Get a 7 Day FREE Plan Now]


Last Updated on October 22, 2022 @

Read Time : 11 minutes


This guide is your one stop solution to finding out the best exercises for PCOS and how they can help you. Dieting for PCOS is only one part of the equation. To really defeat PCOS, you need the right workout plan designed specifically to help you get your results FAST!  

In this guide, you’ll get to know about the best exercises for PCOS and the benefits you’ll get from them.

You’ll learn:

  • Can exercise reduce PCOS?
  • Best exercises for PCOS weight loss
  • How to exercise for PCOS efficiently?
  • Tips and Tricks for Exercising with PCOS and more!

You’ll also get a FREE 7 Day PCOS Workout Plan to kickstart your journey to becoming PCOS free!

Let’s get started!

Best Exercises for PCOS - The Ultimate Guide
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Contents

Chapter 1

The link between PCOS and Exercise

Chapter 2

Benefits of Exercise for PCOS and Best Exercises for PCOS

Chapter 3

Cardio and HIIT Workout for PCOS

Chapter 4

Strength and Weight Training Exercises for PCOS

Chapter 5

Mind-Body Exercises for PCOS

Chapter 6

FREE Sample PCOS Exercise Plan PDF

CHAPTER 1

The link between PCOS and Exercise


You must have heard innumerable times that exercise helps deal with many diseases and conditions. But does exercise directly help fight PCOS and get rid of it?

In this chapter, find out how exercise is related to PCOS and whether it can help you overcome some of its effects.

Let’s go!

The link between PCOS and Exercise
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What is PCOS?

First, let’s know exactly what you’re dealing with here. PCOS is a condition that can occur in women of reproductive age and can lead to hormonal imbalance.

PCOS can be caused due to a variety of reasons. These include a sedentary lifestyle or low efficacy of insulin in the body. Hereditary reasons or consistent inflammation can also be leading causes.

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When you’re suffering from PCOS, there can be several effects on your body. Irregular periods, ovarian cysts, insulin resistance, and excessive androgens are some of those. These effects further lead to facial hair, acne, stress, anxiety and fertility problems. These are considered as early signs of diagnosing PCOS.

If you notice any such symptoms, it’s advisable to visit a doctor to confirm the prognosis. After confirmation, you can get to work on dealing with this condition.

Symptoms of PCOS Infographic
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Relation between Exercise and PCOS

There are a number of tried and tested solutions for dealing with PCOS. These range from dietary changes, to stress management to medication. But the contribution of exercise in your journey to become PCOS free is often ignored.

There are several negative effects on your body due to PCOS. These include weight gain, insulin moderation, inflammation in the body or irregular periods.Regular exercise helps in dealing with most of these.

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Exercise helps you get fit and increases your body’s resistance to fight the ill effects caused by PCOS. It increases your body’s resistance against further hormonal imbalance and weight gain

On several instances, regular exercise has been helpful for women suffering from PCOS. The intensity and productivity of your exercise matters more than the frequency. Exercise has a positive impact on your body’s cardio-respiratory fitness, body composition and insulin sensitivity, which are deteriorated due to the effects of PCOS.

In the next chapter, you’ll learn about the mechanisms through which PCOS exercise can help you.

CHAPTER 2

Benefits of Exercise for PCOS and Best Exercises for PCOS


Now that it’s clear that exercise can help you with PCOS, let’s find out exactly how.

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about the specific benefits of exercise while you’re dealing with PCOS. You’ll also get to know which side effects of PCOS can be minimized with the help of working out.

Let’s go!

Benefits of Exercise for PCOS and Best Exercises for PCOS
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How does exercising help you in dealing with PCOS?

It won’t take too long for you to start noticing the changes caused by regular exercise in your body. Exercise not only helps you lose weight with PCOS but also helps with other related problems.. Here’s what regular exercise does for you in fighting PCOS:

Reduces Insulin Resistance:

About 70% of women suffering from PCOS have to deal with insulin resistance. Due to insulin resistance in your body, there’s overproduction of insulin. This leads to further effects like acne, excessive male hormones and type 2 diabetes. Thus, physical exercise can help in improving the functionality of insulin in your body.

Since it improves your cell’s response to insulin, it makes the use  of sugar in your body more effective. Regular moderate intensity exercise improves the use of excess glucose in your blood. Hence, it reduces excess blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Note that with exercise, you also need the right diet to improve insulin resistance with PCOS. Thus, make sure to refer to the List of foods for PCOS: 8 Best food items for Everyday PCOS meals.

Helps in reducing Cholesterol levels:

If you’re suffering from PCOS, you’re more prone to high cholesterol and triglycerides in your body. This results in other complications like metabolic syndrome, affecting your all round health. Consistent exercise combined with a healthy diet can help you regulate your cholesterol levels.

Increases Endorphin levels:

One of the biggest side effects of PCOS are stress, depression and anxiety. Working out and exercising releases endorphins in your body. It promotes a feeling of wellness and relaxation. Further, it helps overpower negative feelings that affect your mental health.

Reduces risk of other diseases:

When you’re suffering from PCOS, you’re at a much greater risk of attracting diseases like hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer and sleep apnea. But regular exercise strengthens your body and makes it more resistant to other diseases.

Weight Management:

Being overweight is both a cause and an effect of PCOS. Merely having PCOS doesn’t lead to obesity. But a large section of women dealing with this condition end up becoming overweight. Physical activity, a PCOS friendly diet and lifestyle can help weight loss with PCOS. So, if you’re suffering from PCOS, managing your weight through exercise is imperative.

Regulates Ovulation:

Period irregularity and a disrupted menstrual cycle without signs of pregnancy are indicators of PCOS. When you don’t menstruate, your body cannot ovulate. This leads to problems with fertility and sometimes, can even result in infertility. Moderate exercise can help in regulating your period cycle and also improve ovulation.

Benefits of Exercise for PCOS infographic
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Best Exercises for PCOS: An overview

Now, let’s be clear. There’s no magic exercise for PCOS that directly impacts or “cures’’ PCOS

Yet there are certain forms of exercises that give you the most bang for your buck. They can go a long way in helping you fix some of the underlying causes and problems of PCOS.  

There is no list of specific exercises for PCOS treatment. But there are 3 types of workouts that indirectly use  exercises for PCOS belly fat, inflammation, stress, and other symptoms.

  • Cardio & HIIT Workout for PCOS
  • Weight Training Exercises for PCOS
  • Mind and Body Exercises for PCOS

In the upcoming chapters, you’ll get to know how each of these forms help in dealing with PCOS.

CHAPTER 3

Cardio and HIIT Workout for PCOS


Cardiovascular exercises are the key to improving your endurance and burning extra calories. They’re also super easy to perform, need little to no equipment and are the fastest way to get a quick workout in.

In this chapter, you’ll get to know the most effective cardio exercises and how they help in dealing with PCOS. You’ll also get the answer to two common questions -  “how do cardio exercises reduce the effects of PCOS?” and “ is running good for PCOS?”

Let’s dive in!

Cardio and HIIT Workout for PCOS
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Cardiovascular training is the most popular form of exercising; especially among women. Exercises under the form of cardio workout are limitless.

Activities that increase heart rate, respiration and blood flow are called cardiovascular exercises. They are performed using large muscle groups in a repeated and rhythmic manner.

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Cardio includes High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and steady state moderate intensity cardio.

Most effective Cardio Exercises

Cardiovascular exercises use aerobic metabolism. This involves the use of oxygen in your cells providing greater spurs of energy in your body. It increases your heart rate and the flow of oxygen in your blood.

If your heart beats at a rate which is at least 50% higher than the normal rate for a period of 10 minutes or more, then it forms a part of cardio exercise.

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Let’s look at some Cardio exercises which can help you:

  • Running and Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Skipping
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Kickboxing 
  • Burpees
  • Stair Climbing
  • Rowing 
  • Bear Crawls
Best Cardio Workouts for Women Infographic
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These are amongst the best exercises for PCOS weight loss under cardiovascular training. The biggest benefit of Cardiovascular exercise is that it is limitless.

You can actually enjoy a lot while doing cardio, be it in the form of going out for a jog or doing zumba. Running is a great form of cardio as well. It helps you quickly burn calories and is a quick way of getting your body active. It is a great choice of exercise for PCOS weight loss.

It’s important to listen to your body when it comes to working out. While it’s good to challenge yourself and work up a sweat, if something doesn’t feel right or you’re uncomfortable - get it checked out. A chiropractor can help deal with back issues or reduced mobility you may be experiencing, while a physiotherapist may be able to put together a specific exercise plan to meet your needs.

Cardiovascular exercises don’t target or cure PCOS per se. But, let’s look at some of the symptoms of PCOS that they help you deal with, making it one of the best workouts for PCOS.

How does Cardio Exercise help with your PCOS?

Now that you know what cardio exercises are and how they work, let’s get to know about their benefits for you.

Cardio reduces insulin resistance:

Insulin resistance is both a cause and a symptom of PCOS. It results in reduced  responsiveness of insulin amongst the cells of your body. This increases the blood sugar levels in your system. 

High Intensity Interval Training is an effective measure of reducing insulin levels. As there are short intervals of high intensity, plenty of glucose is required for energy. This leads to sudden changes in the glucose levels of your muscle cells.

Further, it increases the need of insulin and hence, increases its activity in your body. Thus, HIIT regulates blood sugar levels by improving adipose and liver insulin sensitivity.

Burns a lot of calories:

Weight gain and inflammation are the two side effects of PCOS that need the most effort to tackle. Cardiovascular exercise is the quickest way to burn the calories you consume

To give you an idea about the effectiveness of cardio:

Brisk walking can help you burn about 300-400 calories. While running, swimming and cycling can help you burn up to 600 calories. And jumping rope can help you burn upto 1000 calories, in just an hour!

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Calories Burned Through Various Activities Infographic
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Cardio workouts increase your heart rate and increase your physical activity. They help fat loss and burning of calories. They help improve your metabolism and improve nutrient partitioning. This in turn helps with muscle building and losing weight. Thus, cardio is the best PCOS exercise at home to lose weight.

Burns some calories even after the workout:

You burn calories while exercising with all forms of workout. But, the benefit with cardio is that you can burn calories even after working out. This is because of Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). Now the rate of EPOC varies amongst different cardio exercises as well.  

On one hand, steady state low intensity cardio has a low EPOC rate. This is because the bursts of energy are not as intense or sudden. So, the post workout calorie burn for these won’t be as much.

But, the other form of cardio, i.e. HIIT, is intense. Your body needs excess oxygen even after you’re done exercising to reach homeostasis. This leads to weight loss which helps in dealing with other conditions of PCOS. It also provides some protection against obesity

CHAPTER 4

Strength and Weight Training Exercises for PCOS


If you think strength training is just to build muscles and tone up; you’re wrong! It’s one of the most crucial components of an effective PCOS workout plan..

In this chapter, you’ll learn about the problems of PCOS that strength training can improve.And you’ll also get to know why it’s amongst the best exercises for PCOS.

Let’s start!

Strength and Weight Training Exercises for PCOS
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Strength training is all about working out the various muscles in your body. It does so by working against some form of resistance to make them firmer and stronger. The resistance adds stress to the muscles of your body in an attempt to make them stronger. Resistance can be in the form of weights, resistance bands or even your own body weight

Resistance training forms an effective part of the workout routine that can help you combat some of the effects caused by PCOS on your body.

Best weight training exercises for PCOS include squats, lunges, deadlifts and hip thrusts. Various kinds of upper body pushing and pulling movements using weights are also a part of this form.

Benefits of Strength Training for PCOS

Let’s look at the benefits provided by weight training specifically for the symptoms PCOS has on you.

Strength training helps with insulin resistance:

Strength training can help increase the size of your muscle overtime. It can help with glucose management in your muscles and increase insulin sensitivity.

With the growth of more muscle cells in your body, blood sugar levels can be managed at a healthy level. In turn, it reduces insulin resistance and helps manage one of the most common symptoms of PCOS.

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Reduces Androgens in your body:

Increased levels of androgen(male hormones) in your body cause several ill effects. These include facial hair, acne, belly fat and baldness. Many of you might be worried that since strength training leads to muscle building, it can increase or keep the testosterone levels in your body. 

But in fact, strength training helps you reduce the levels of androgen in your body. So, if you’re dealing with high androgen levels, strength training is an effective solution.

Facilitates weight loss and fights belly fat:

Excessive belly fat with PCOS can lead to high cholesterol and metabolic issues. Building muscles helps improve your body’s metabolism. As muscles are metabolically active, they burn calories for sustenance.

The more muscle you gain will increase the calories you burn each day. Thus, strength training helps you lose weight quickly. It fights the biggest effect of PCOS in the form of muscle gain.

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If there was a single form of exercise that could claim to be the best workout for PCOS, it would be strength training.

Benefits of Strength Training for PCOS Infographic
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CHAPTER 5

Mind-Body Exercises for PCOS


When you work out with PCOS, it has to be more than just for your body. PCOS not only has multiple adverse effects on you physically but also mentally and emotionally. Thus, the answer to address these problems is mind-body exercises. They help you get physically fitter and improve your mental well being as well.

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about the different forms of mind-body exercise. You’ll also learn how it’ll help you deal with the symptoms of PCOS that are affecting you and why it’s one of the best exercises for PCOS.

Mind-Body Exercises for PCOS
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Most Effective Mind-Body Exercises for PCOS

Mind body exercises use the connection of your mental and physical fitness to bring in a positive effect on both. In fact, these exercises help you connect with your body on a deeper level and help you move and feel better.

Mind-body exercises are a combination of physical movement, mental focus and breathing. They help improve your strength, flexibility and mental well being.

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These  exercises put less stress on your body and yet provide several benefits apart from helping with PCOS. Mind-body exercises prepare you to deal with other related diseases and strengthen your body’s immunity. This is why they’re included amongst the best exercises for PCOS.

So, mind-body exercises are an effective addition to the ideal PCOS workout regimen

Here’s a list of some beneficial forms of mind-body exercises:

Yoga exercises for PCOS:

Yoga is the most popular form of mind and body exercise, originated in Southeast Asia. It’s a combination of meditation, breathing techniques and physical movement. Yoga exercises for PCOS help in reducing stress, improving flexibility and practicing mindfulness. 

Apart from being a mental and physical exercise, yoga is also related to spirituality. The exercises in yoga are called asanas. You can start with simple exercises and then slowly progress on to complex ones. Swastikasana (The Auspicious Pose for meditation), Padmasana (Lotus Position), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) are amongst the best yoga exercises for PCOS. Yoga for PCOS is a great option and provides several benefits as part of mind-body exercises.

Yoga exercises for PCOS Infographic
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Pilates:

Pilates is gaining a lot of momentum these days as one of the best exercises for PCOS. It provides several benefits to your body. These include toning your body and increasing flexibility. Pilates is a popular choice because it also helps lower your stress levels. It’s also a great form of stretching exercises for PCOS. Pilates along with other mind-body exercises like yoga help maintain your hormonal balance. So, make sure to explore this form of workout as it is very effective and relaxing. If you’re someone who likes to avoid the usual equipment, then that’s an option for you to explore with Pilates as well!

Tai Chi:

Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese form of self defense that is now widely used as a form of mind-body exercise. It ensures constant movement in your body as you flow from one posture to another, without a pause. It exerts less stress on your body and is a great form of exercise to begin with. Anyone can perform tai chi as it’s easy to perform and simple.

Dance based Workouts:

Workouts become much more effective when you enjoy them. Dancing is a popular activity that can prove to be very beneficial for your physical fitness. It also helps reduce your stress levels. Since dancing requires a lot of energy and movement, it helps your body in the calories consumed as well as fat. It’s a super fun and popular alternative to other forms of exercise. So you can incorporate dance forms like Zumba, Salsa, Hip Hop and Belly Dance in your workout routine.

The forms of exercises mentioned above are the most suitable for you if you’re suffering from PCOS. Adding these to your home workout regimen can help you deal with your symptoms.

Mind Body Exercises for PCOS Infographic
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Apart from these exercises, there are other mind-body exercises as well. These include taekwondo, martial arts and qi gong, however, they need professional training. If you’re looking to conceive, mind-body exercises are the best exercises for PCOS to get pregnant. This is because they put less load on your body while working out.

How do Mind-Body exercises help you?

Let’s have a look at the benefits provided by mind-body exercises for specific PCOS symptoms, which makes them a part of the best exercises for PCOS.

Improves Hormone Balance:

Mind-body exercises improve your sex hormones and help regulate your period. Irregularity in your period is a side effect and one of the earliest signs of PCOS in your body.

PCOS increases androgen levels in your body. Performing  yoga, tai chi, pilates, or a combination of these, can help you reduce its levels in your body. This in turn helps you against symptoms like acne, baldness and abdominal inflammation.

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Improves Metabolism and helps you lose weight:

Mind-body exercises  help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate your cholesterol levels. The constant movement in your body improves glucose reception and hence decreases insulin resistance.

These exercises also have a positive and lasting impact on your body’s metabolism. As your metabolic rate increases, you burn calories faster. Due to this, mind-body exercises help you in dealing with these 3 symptoms of PCOS and are amongst the best exercises for PCOS.

Improves Mental Well-being:

Mind-body exercises combine physical and mental activity. These exercises provide a calming effect to your mind.

Stress, anxiety and depression are common effects of PCOS and affect a lot of women. Mind-body exercises help you control your thoughts, improve concentration and calm your mind. This brings a positive impact on your mental health and improves your well-being.

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Wait, it’s not over yet. We have more to offer!

In the next section, you’ll get a FREE, done for you, Sample 7 Day PCOS exercise plan. Download the PDF and kickstart your fitness journey with PCOS now!

CHAPTER 6

FREE Sample PCOS Exercise Plan PDF


Even after knowing about the best exercises for PCOS and their benefits with PCOS, curating the right workout plan is a big task.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this section, you’ll get a FREE 7 Day Sample Workout Plan for PCOS that will help you kickstart your journey towards fitness.

Let’s dive right in!

FREE Sample PCOS Exercise Plan PDF
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A good workout routine is the perfect combination of different forms of exercises in the right amount! It’s important that you get a wholesome workout plan in order to minimize the side effects of PCOS. 

We have curated the PERFECT 7 Day Sample Workout Plan with the best exercises for PCOS for you so that you don’t have to struggle doing that. 

Enter your details below, to get a copy of the 7 Day FREE PCOS Exercise Plan PDF with the best exercises for PCOS.

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Download your FREE
7 Day PCOS Exercise Plan

Note that this sample plan can be and should be modified to fit your needs. If an exercise feels too difficult at first, just drop a comment below and we’ll give you an alternative.

You can use this 7 day plan to identify the right mix of the different forms of exercise and then make certain tweaks according to your preference.

And that sums up this guide on the best exercises for PCOS.  You now have the knowledge and tools you need to get started on your very own PCOS Workout Plan.

Now it’s Your Turn


With this, you now know the benefits of working out, the best exercises for PCOS and some tips to manage your regimen properly. Additionally, you also have a 7 day Sample PCOS Workout Plan to initiate your journey.  

Which is your favorite form of exercise amongst those mentioned? How often do you workout?

Tell us all about it with a quick comment down below 🙂

Now it's your turn - Comment Below
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