“Out of resistance comes strength”
We will not grow if there is no resistance and the same is true for our bodies. There are about 600 muscles in the human body. And as we grow, we tend to lose muscle. That’s where Resistance/Strength training comes into play.
What is Strength Training?
Strength training involves the performance of physical exercises that are designed to improve strength and endurance. It is often associated with the lifting of weights. When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being, including increased muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone strength and toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density, increased metabolism, increased fitness and improved cardiac function. Training commonly uses the technique of progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental weight increases and uses a variety of exercises and types of equipment to target specific muscle groups.
What is PCOS/PCOD?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels.
“PCOS” is a “syndrome”, or group of symptoms that affects the ovaries and ovulation. Its three main features are:
Cysts in the ovaries
High levels of male hormones
Irregular or skipped periods
Common symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods, heavy bleeding, hair growth, acne, weight gain, darkening of the skin, headaches.
Between 2.2 and 26.7 percent of women in the age group(15-44) have PCOS.
Many women have PCOS but don’t know it. In one study upto 70 percent of women with PCOS had’t been diagnosed.
Why Strength Training for PCOS?
The best exercise for PCOS is strength training. If you have PCOS and want to look better, feel better, and become more confident, strength training should be your new BFF. It will support you like nothing else can, all you have to do is keep showing up and trying your best.
Exercise improves how your body functions so you’ll respond better and more quickly to the changes you’re making in your diet. If you have PCOS, this is a big deal because our genetic makeup makes us resistant to losing weight. Of all the types of exercise, strength training causes more positive changes to a PCOS body than any other type of workout. In fact, these changes can improve PCOS symptoms even if you are a lean woman living with PCOS.
Here are the ultimate reasons:
Strength training reduces insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is at the heart of many PCOS symptoms. including out of control hunger, cravings, fatigue, wonky hormones, and weight loss resistance. Strength training improves insulin resistance through 3 different mechanisms:
Muscle cells are one of the body's main consumers of glucose. Growing more muscle cells through strength training helps keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
Exercise makes muscle cells more sensitive to insulin. In result, your pancreas needs to produce less insulin to keep your metabolism running smoothly.
A recent research study found that exercise changes the expression of genes that are thought to cause PCOS-related insulin resistance.
2. Strength training lowers male hormones in women with PCOS.
Higher than normal androgens(AKA male hormones) cause annoying PCOS symptoms like facial hair, belly fat, hair loss and acne. Many women associate muscle and weight lifting with testosterone, but that is not a logical conclusion when it comes to PCOS. Studies show that strength training actually reduces androgen levels in PCOS women. For example, a 2016 study followed 43 women with PCOS as they participated in a16-week strength training program. After 16 weeks of regular strength training, the participants saw a significant decrease in their testosterone levels.
3. Strength training prevents weight loss plateaus.
Strength training helps you lose weight and keep it off by keeping your metabolism working at its best. As you diet to lose fat, you will lose some muscle mass. This can make losing weight and keeping it off difficult because your body will require fewer calories to sustain itself. Thus you will have to continually reduce your intake to keep losing fat.
The solution? Combine strength training with a PCOS-friendly diet to prevent muscle loss and keep your metabolic rate high. Even if you are dieting, strength training will stimulate muscle growth and prevent muscle loss. And since muscle tissue helps you burn more calories while at rest and while moving, you will be able to smooth out some of the natural starts and stops that come with trying to lose weight with PCOS.
Whenever we think of Strength training, the first word that comes to our mind is “GYM”. And we all agree to the fact that we end up going to the gym once or twice in a week and sometimes, because of work we aren’t able to go at all. But not to worry, Strength Training can be done as effectively at home as in a gym. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a right coach for guidance.
VyomFIT’s “S&C for Women” is a program that helps women prevent/cure lifestyle disorders like PCOS, fertility issues, thyroid management etc using our Strength & Conditioning classes curated specially for women. Naturally, an important part of the program is to help women get a dose of strength training at home.
If you wish to discuss your case with our experts and get clear instructions on how you should approach your fitness journey, book a FREE 15 min Consultation with us.