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  • Lauren

How To Workout With PCOS

Updated: Sep 1, 2018

One of the main tips for PCOS is to workout. But, there’s more to it than just hopping on a treadmill and running a mile everyday.

If you’re reading this and you have PCOS, I bet you’ve tried every workout, every fitness program, and spent too much money on personal trainers too. Trust me, I’ve been there.

First, lets talk about the benefits of working out when you have PCOS. The two main benefits are reducing body fat and balancing hormones.

1. Balancing Hormones: Working out stimulates production of endorphins, which are brain chemicals that give you a sense of well-being. The cortisol-reducing and endorphin-boosting effects of a workout can mitigate both cortisol and endorphin production.

2. Reducing Body Fat: Some women with PCOS are the “lean” type and are more resistant to storing body fat. The “heavy” type stores fat easily. The main factor in all of this is insulin resistance. If you’re the lean type, you most likely build muscle easily and quickly develop that “bulky” or puffy look when you begin weight training.

3 Tips for Working out with PCOS:

1. Skip the long cardio sessions: Research shows, short HIIT cardio sessions are beneficial for those with PCOS. While cardio is beneficial for most people, long cardio sessions have been known to worsen hormonal imbalance and PCOS symptoms. So basically, put away your running shoes & put your spin bike in storage, because long cardio sessions can actually contribute to your PCOS symptoms and make you feel worse.

2. Strength Training: If you’re facing adrenal problems, which most women with PCOS are, 2 strength-training sessions per week and one metabolic training day per week is recommended. The key is to rest often and take breaks as needed. If you have your adrenal problems sorted out, or never had any to begin with, then lucky you! You will be able to add in more HIIT sessions and metabolic conditioning.

3. Cycle Syncing: The idea of cycle syncing is to do certain workouts during different phases of your cycle. It helps balance your hormones and improve your metabolism. Learn more about it here:


One very important thing I want to highlight is, you can over-train cause more harm than good if you follow too intense of a workout plan. It’s really important that you incorporate rest days & follow a balanced nutrition plan. The saying “less is more” definitely applies to working out with PCOS. You want to make sure you don’t stress your body out even more and aggravate your symptoms.

Over training can aggravate PCOS symptoms and lead to the following:

1. Chronic muscle and joint soreness

2. Irregular periods

3. Fatigue

4. Lack of focus, jitteriness, and insomnia

Hopefully you learned about the benefits of working out, what types of workouts are the best/worst for PCOS, and always resist the urge to over-train. When you have PCOS, it isn’t about how hard you can go in the gym, how many miles you can run, or how much you can squat, but it’s about being smart with your workouts.



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