PCOD and Exercise

PCOD and Exercise

PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease is very common, affecting 1 in every 10 women in childbearing age. About one-third of women around the globe are affected by PCOD. PCOD is a condition developed by the hormonal imbalance in which the ovaries release a lot of immature or partially-mature eggs which eventually turn into cysts. 

Being an ovarian disease, PCOD causes problems during pregnancy, menstrual cycle, diabetes and cardiac function. The symptoms of PCOD range from irregular periods, excessive hair growth, thinning of hair, weight gain, acne and obesity. The first, most common symptom of this condition is irregular periods but if that’s not the case, PCOD can largely go undetected. If left untreated, it can cause insulin resistant diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol leading to heart disease.

PCOD has found to have genetic link up. Besides this, one of the most common causes is lifestyle which include exposure to high levels of stress, lack of exercise, erratic eating habits, and lack of proper sleep. 

PCOD first line of treatment is Lifestyle Modifications, of which exercise is a major contributor. Not only does consistent exercise help with weight management and improvement in irregularity of menstrual cycle, but can help with fertility, lower disease risk along with numerous other health benefits. Following are the types of exercises that can be done by women affected by PCOD.

Aerobic Exercises– For a minimum of 30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week. It can be done in form of brisk walking, jogging, cycling, running or swimming. Aerobic exercises improves the risk factors for cardio-vascular disorders associated with PCOD.

Strength or weight training For boosting your metabolism by building muscle mass and it also helps in burning calories. Strength training helps in making muscles more sensitive to insulin and more tolerant to glucose. Focussing on major muscle groups, one can do lateral pull down, biceps curl, triceps curl, push-ups, abdominal crunches, hamstring curls, split squats, lunges and leg extensions. One can do 2-3 sets of each exercise, 10 reps per exercise. You can start with any 5 of the above exercises, if you are a beginner and then can progress to doing all the exercises.

Ideally, a combination of aerobic and strength training works out the best.

Yoga -Kapalabhati, the rapid breathing technique of pranayama and bound angle pose or butterfly pose of yoga are found to be effective in PCOD.

Meditation, deep breathing and massage to combat stress.

Eating a healthy well-balanced diet is also crucial for PCOD. Maintaining healthy weight is a must for avoiding the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart diseases.


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