Ever seen those astonishingly fit Hollywood moms who, even after pregnancy, managed to keep their figure, intact? Seeing them must have made all the bulky readers who surrendered to the pregnancy weight gain dilemma, envious. Take Kim Kardashian as an example, you could barely suspect that she has gone through two pregnancies. Though we all are punk enough to wear Beckham’s shirt and spice girls’ tops, being Victoria Beckham feels good, yet most of us are not ready to hit the regular workout like Victoria Beckham to fight the difficulty in conception. Do you know Victoria Beckham spent a good enough time in a homemade gym to look the way she wants to and to conceive despite her polycystic ovaries (PCOs). Alas! Here we are, still trying to carry weight around our bellies.
Most of the PCOs suffering ladies/girls are prescribed by their doctors for a life style modification. Much has been said about such modification with doctors are trying to emphasize on exercise for PCOs. If you have PCOs, either married or unmarried, and then there are two questions that ought to be answered.
First: If you are slim and your weight is in normal BMI scale then do you need to exercise to fight the symptoms of PCOs? The answer is yes.
Second: If you are obese or overweight, are these extra fats the reason for your PCOs? The answer is may be. So, will exercise along with pharmaceutical medication help you lose weight? The answer is yes.
The Science behind Exercise and PCOs
One reason for developing PCOs is the insulin resistance in the body. As the body perceives more glucose in the blood due to insulin resistance or insulin insensitivity, it triggers the pancreas to release extra insulin to compensate glucose in the blood. According to Willis D et al. ‘Insulin action in human granulose cells from normal and polycystic ovaries is mediated by the insulin receptor and not the type-I insulin-like growth factor receptors more insulin in the blood acts as co-gonadotropin and stimulate production of ovarian androgen. This over stimulation of circulating androgens in blood decreases the chances of ovulation. One study showed that if the serum Insulin is reduced then hyperandrogenism can be minimized. More androgens mean more testosterone/estrogen-a male/female sex hormone respectively- common condition in PCOs.
The most effective way to treat PCOs because of insulin resistance is a regular exercise. Exercise helps the person manage the glucose content in the blood which is being unmanaged due to troubled insulin resistance. High insulin levels in the blood increase the storage of fats as well as proliferate the emotional eating towards carbohydrates.
Prevent PCOS — Can Exercise Help?
Above we have been able to establish the importance of exercise in PCO women. But the direct connection of exercise for weight loss in obese PCO women needs further study. According to one study PCO development in regularly exercising women showed uncanny results, when the women in fertile age with the history of minimum six-month exercise were determined. On comparing the BMIs of PCO patients it was found that in lean subjects BMI was almost same irrespective of the presence of PCO in the subject. However, the marked difference in BMI was observed in obese subjects. Obese non-PCO subjects had lower BMI than obese PCO subjects. This showed that PCOs became one reason of fat storage in the PCO patients. However, the study also found out that lean PCO patients showed less difficulty in weight loss as compared to the obese PCO patients with the regular exercise. So the altered hormonal role in obese PCO patients for weight loss through exercise needs further study.
However, the concept that exercise helps in managing glucose intolerance, resulting in less insulin release within the body while indirectly snubbing the fat storage, cannot be denied. When insulin is in smaller amounts the cravings for carbohydrates will reduce automatically. This would reduce the binge eating disorders in obese PCO women.
One thing to be noted is that only those exercises are effective in PCO patients for weight loss which are within the cardio zone. Reason being cardio zone helps in managing the glucagon in the muscles hence utilizing the glucose of the blood and inhibiting the insulin levels. This way, indirectly, fat storage in the body decreases by less release of insulin in the blood. So if you want to lose weight with PCO and obesity side by side, then you should be well informed about the kind of exercise that will be effective in your condition.
With the exercise, the psychological energy is regulated and drops the levels of stress, indirectly reducing the insulin insensitivity. With this the cortisol, which is an emergency hormone, will be reduced in the blood. Cortisol is also a reason for insulin insensitivity in the blood. Once this hormone is reduced insulin insensitivity is reduced automatically.