Second Pillar : Exercise
Benefits Of Exercise
- Helps to lower and control high blood glucose levels, blood pressure & cholesterol levels.
- Increase Basal Metabolic Rate (BMI) and helps to lose or maintain weight.
- Lowers the risk of developing heart disease.
- Strengthens muscles and bones and boost overall energy level.
- Improves blood circulation in entire body including ovaries.
- Relieves anxiety and stress and improve your mood.
There are several trials which are concluding that weight loss to about 5-10% has been consistently successful in reducing insulin resistance and restoring ovulation and fertility in patients of PCOS.
Cardio & Strength Training Exercise
Combination of both types of exercise is required to attain the maximum benefits. Cardio exercises must be done at least 2 times per week & strength exercise must be done at least 3 times per week.
Cardio training causes your heart rate to rise and it uses energy, increasing your total calories used, which will help with weight loss.
You can start with 10 minutes a day and slowly increase to 30 minutes, 5-6 times per week.
Finding a form of exercise that you enjoy is really important in making it sustainable. Here are some fun exercises you could consider:
- Aerobic classes
- Playing Table Tennis/ Volleyball/ Badminton/ Football etc.
Lifestyle guide is provided to each and every patient of PCOS and calorie expenditure of various physical exercises is incorporated in it. Under the supervision of our Physiotherapist; after evaluating BMI of each patient and thoroughly studying the current lifestyle and based on the stamina of patient, they are advised to start certain exercise which are progressively increased as her energy level starts increasing.
Yoga And PCOS
Yoga is an excellent adjunct treatment for PCOS. Stress leads to increase in cortisol hormone which promotes weight gain. Consistent practice of yoga-asana, pranayama and a few minutes of daily meditation can help reduce stress. Yoga has done wonders for patients of unexplained infertility and few of our patients of infertility could conceive just by practicing yoga and meditation. Yoga promotes relaxation of hypothalamo-pituitary axis which is under dysregulation in patient of PCOS, calms the mind and bring hormonal balance to great extent.
Our Physiotherapist teaches several yoga-asanas that aids in weight loss, relieves stress and improves blood circulation to the reproductive organs, thus yoga could enhance fertility outcome and cure menstrual irregularities, too.
Precautions To Take Before Starting Exercise
- Take your doctor’s advice before starting any exercise regime.
- Blood glucose levels may drop or hypoglycemia can occur if a person is taking blood sugar lowering medications. So, always take some carbohydrate (fruit, starch) before exercise. Schedule time of such medications with your Endocrinologist after discussing your exercise regime.
- Stay well hydrated during, before and after exercise. Drink adequate amount of water.
- Always fuel up post workout by having a combination of proteins with healthy fats like peanut butter etc.
- Do not over-exert yourself.
- Take a break if you need to.
- Wear well fitting, protective footwear.
Keep your second pillar strengthened !!
Third Pillar - Happy Mind Set
It forms the mainstay of treatment and needs to be provided before introducing diet and exercise. It is very first step in the management of PCOS. This pillar contributes to psychological support and intervention.
What your counselor will provide
- Psychological support
- Cognitive Behavioral Assessment & Therapy
- Addiction Awareness Plan
- Weekly Support & Reinforcement
Psychological counseling both individually and in group will be provided.
Cognitive Behavioral Assessment (CBA)
Your Psychologist will do CBA as follows :
- Screen Depression, mood and eating disorders.
- Assess Mental barriers and readiness to change.
- Devise lifestyle modification strategies with patient and family.
- Tackle addiction smoking, alcohol and caffeine
When Psychological intervention is Required
- Behavioral problems
- Anxiety due to Infertility and poor pregnancy outcome
- Abnormal eating patterns
- Damaged self-confidence due to altered body image due to acne, hirsutism and obesity.
- Increased level of anxiety and depression.
Regular visits are planned with counselor to check the motivation of patient and provide reinforcement to achieve the goals of weight loss, behavioral problems and monitor anxiety. Drug therapy is required for severe cases of depression and anxiety.