Best Exercises for Managing PCOS

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with PCOS, you’re not alone.

Health & Wellness
 Min read
March 8, 2022

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with PCOS, you’re not alone. 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome affects 1 in 10 women, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. But even more than that remain undiagnosed. 

With this hormonal condition, a woman’s body produces an abnormally large amount of androgens, often called the “male hormone.” It can also affect your body’s ability to react to insulin (often called insulin resistance) and manage your blood sugar, as well as your ability to produce progesterone. 

PCOS puts women at risk for developing more serious health problems like infertility, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and uterine cancer. 

Diagnosing the Problem

Unfortunately there isn’t one singular test that can diagnose Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is why paying attention to your symptoms and bodily signs is vital to understanding your health. 

Many women with PCOS experience symptoms like: 

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Anovulatory menstrual cycle
  • Cysts on ovaries
  • Excess facial and body hair
  • Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp
  • Weight gain/ difficulty losing weight
  • Darkening of the skin and skin tags. 

However, you might not experience the traditional symptoms of PCOS even if you have it. Yes, despite what the name suggests, not every woman with PCOS will experience ovarian cysts. ¹

Charting your menstrual cycle can help you gain a more clear understanding of your health on a hormonal level. If you suspect you may have PCOS, talk to your OBGYN or a NaPro physician. They can help diagnose your condition through physical exams, ultrasounds, and blood tests.

 Treating PCOS Naturally

Treatment of PCOS depends on your age and your symptoms. 

Doctors often prescribe hormonal birth control to treat women with PCOS who are not actively trying to have children; however, this solution fails to get to the root of the problem and in many cases, may even worsen the underlying condition. 

Some doctors may prescribe metformin to lower insulin resistance, regulate ovulation, and help with weight loss; however, you can also manage PCOS through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. 

Researchers have found that exercise, specifically moderate-intensity exercise, can effectively help women manage PCOS by lowering stress (which worsens symptoms), improving ovulation, and improving insulin resistance.

If you want to help manage your PCOS symptoms, consider the following types of exercises: 


Cardio exercises can help manage symptoms of PCOS. It can help you lose weight, lower your risk for diabetes, and decrease anxiety. HIIT workouts in particular can increase insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS.²

Low intensity workouts like walking can be done as often as possible but you should limit moderate and high intensity workouts, that increase stress levels in the body, to 1-2 times a week and for 30 minutes or less for maximum efficiency. 

Resistance Training

Strength training involving resistance bands, weights, or your own body weight can help women with PCOS in a variety of ways. 

Researchers have found that resistance training significantly reduced testosterone levels in women with PCOS. It helps you build muscles and strengthen your bones, improve metabolic health, and maintain a healthy weight. 

Mind-Body exercises

Studies have shown that women with PCOS have an enhanced bodily response to stress, which can worsen symptoms of PCOS.

When you experience stress, your body produces cortisol which not only helps you deal with stress, but also plays a significant role in blood sugar control, metabolism, and other necessary functions. Chronic stress can cause inflammation, increase insulin resistance, and influence weight gain. 

Mind-Body exercises that incorporate gentle stretches and deep-breathing can help lower elevated levels of the stress hormone and help your body relax. 

Pietra Fitness offers classes for every fitness level. By combining prayer and exercise, Pietra Fitness is an excellent option for women who want to manage their PCOS through holistic means.

Sign up today for your 14-day free trial. 

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