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    PCOS Exercise: Your Guide to Sweating Away PCOS


    PCOS Exercise: Your Guide to Sweating Away PCOS

    Updated on 15 September 2023

    Avni had been putting on weight for a few years now, but she remained unaware as to what was contributing to her weight gain. However, her recent diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) put things in perspective. While the diagnosis wasn’t a pleasant one, it did explain the weight gain and other symptoms she had been noticing. This diagnosis also set her on the path to discover PCOS exercises to help manage her weight and overall health.

    So, let us join Avni on her journey to sweating away PCOS with a powerful PCOS exercise plan wherein we will also explore the efficacy of exercising for PCOS weight management, some instructions and precautions to keep in mind and most importantly, the best exercises for PCOS.

    Can Exercise Help in Managing PCOS?

    Exercise has been shown to be an effective tool in managing PCOS symptoms. Regular physical activity can help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate hormone levels, which are key factors in managing PCOS.

    Exercise also aids in weight management, as women with PCOS often struggle with weight gain. Additionally, it can boost mood and reduce stress, which are important for overall well-being. Women may also find it helpful to do exercise for PCOS to get period and manage their menstrual cycle.

    You may also like : PCOS Self Care: How to Nurture Your Body and Mind

    How to Develop a PCOS Exercise Plan?

    Developing a tailored exercise plan for PCOS is crucial to reap the maximum benefits. Here are some steps to help you get started:

    Step 1: Consult with a Healthcare Professional

    Before starting any exercise regimen, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a certified fitness trainer. They can assess your current health status and provide guidance on the most appropriate exercises for your specific condition.

    Step 2: Set Realistic Goals

    Set realistic goals that are achievable and sustainable. Focus on improving overall fitness, managing weight, and reducing PCOS symptoms rather than aiming for drastic changes. Gradual progress is key to long-term success.

    Step 3: Choose a Variety of Exercises

    Incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine to target different muscle groups and keep your workouts interesting. This can include aerobic exercises like running or swimming, strength training exercises using weights or resistance bands, and flexibility exercises like Yoga or Pilates.

    Step 4: Start Slow and Gradually Increase Intensity

    If you're new to exercise, start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This allows your body to adapt and reduces the risk of injury. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, along with two or more days of strength training exercises.

    Step 5: Monitor and Adjust

    Regularly monitor your progress and adjust your exercise plan as needed. Listen to your body and make modifications if you experience any discomfort or pain. Remember that everyone's journey is unique, so it is important to find what works best for you.

    You may also like : PCOS Natural Treatment: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Remedies for PCOS

    Do's and Don'ts to Follow for PCOS Exercise

    When it comes to practising PCOS exercise at home, there are certain do's and don'ts to keep in mind. Following these guidelines can help you maximize the benefits and minimize any potential risks:


    1. Do choose low-impact exercises

    Opt for exercises that are gentle on your joints, such as swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine. These activities provide cardiovascular benefits without putting excessive stress on your body.

    2. Do incorporate strength training

    Building muscle mass through strength training exercises can help boost metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity. Include exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups in your routine.

    3. Do practice stress-reducing activities

    PCOS is often associated with increased stress levels. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises can help balance hormones and improve overall well-being.


    1. Don't overdo high-intensity workouts

    While high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be beneficial for many, it may not be suitable for everyone with PCOS. Intense workouts can lead to increased cortisol levels, which can further disrupt hormone balance. Listen to your body and opt for moderate-intensity exercises instead.

    2. Don't skip rest days

    Rest and recovery are crucial for allowing your body to repair and adapt to exercise. Avoid overtraining and give yourself adequate rest days to prevent burnout and injuries.

    3. Don't compare your progress to others

    Each individual's journey with PCOS is unique. Avoid comparing your progress to others and focus on your own goals and improvements. Celebrate small victories and stay motivated on your personal health journey.

    You may also like : PCOS Treatment in Homeopathy: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Remedies

    5 Best Exercises for PCOS

    Now let us discover the most effective exercises for PCOS:

    1. Aerobic exercises

    Engaging in aerobic exercises like brisk walking, jogging, or cycling helps improve cardiovascular health, burn calories, and manage weight. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity most days of the week.

    2. Strength training

    Incorporating strength training exercises into your routine helps build lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, and improve insulin sensitivity. Include exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and bicep curls. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you get stronger.

    3. Yoga

    Practicing yoga offers a holistic approach to managing PCOS by reducing stress levels, improving hormone balance, and increasing flexibility. Focus on poses that target the pelvic area, such as butterfly pose, cobra pose, and child's pose.

    3. Pilates

    Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and body awareness. It helps improve posture, strengthen abdominal muscles, and increase overall stability. Incorporate exercises like the hundred, roll-ups, and leg circles into your routine.

    4. Swimming

    Swimming is a gentle, low-impact exercise that provides a full-body workout. It helps improve cardiovascular fitness, build strength, and burn calories. If you prefer a non-weight bearing exercise that is easy on the joints, swimming is an excellent option.

    5 Worst Exercises for PCOS

    While exercise is generally beneficial for women with PCOS, there are certain exercises that may not be ideal for managing PCOS symptoms. These include:

    1. High-impact exercises

    Exercises like running on hard surfaces or jumping exercises can put excessive stress on the joints, potentially causing discomfort or injury. Opt for low-impact alternatives like swimming or cycling instead.

    2. Excessive cardio

    While cardio exercises are important for cardiovascular health, excessive cardio can lead to increased cortisol levels and potentially disrupt hormone balance. Aim for moderate-intensity cardio exercise for PCOS to get period rather than long, intense sessions.

    3. Overtraining

    Pushing your body beyond its limits by overtraining can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. This can negatively affect hormone balance and overall well-being. Allow your body enough time to rest and recover between workouts.

    4. Isolation exercises

    Focusing solely on isolation exercises, such as bicep curls or tricep kickbacks, may not provide the same overall benefits as compound exercises. Compound exercises, which involve multiple muscle groups, are more efficient and effective for managing PCOS.

    5. Exercise without proper nutrition

    Exercise alone is not enough to manage PCOS. It should be complemented by a balanced diet that supports hormone balance and overall health. Consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to develop a nutrition plan that aligns with your exercise routine.

    PCOS Exercise at Home or Gym: Which is Better?

    Whether you choose to exercise at home or at the gym depends on personal preference, convenience, and access to equipment. Both options have their own benefits and drawbacks. Here are the key factors to consider:

    Exercise at Home

    Exercising at home can provide the following benefits in PCOS:

    1. Convenience

    Exercising at home eliminates the need for travel and allows for flexible workout timings.

    2. Cost-effective

    Setting up a basic home gym can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to gym memberships.

    3. Privacy

    Some women may feel more comfortable exercising in the privacy of their own home, especially if they are self-conscious about their appearance or prefer a more personalized workout experience.

    Exercise at the Gym

    Exercising at the gym can provide the following benefits in PCOS:

    1. Variety of equipment

    Gyms offer a wide range of exercise equipment and facilities that may not be available at home, such as treadmills, weight machines, and group fitness classes.

    2. Motivating environment

    The energy and atmosphere of a gym can be motivating for many individuals, as they are surrounded by like-minded individuals working towards their fitness goals.

    3. Professional guidance

    Gyms often have certified trainers who can provide personalized guidance, create tailored workout plans, and ensure proper form and technique.

    Ultimately, the choice between exercising at home or at the gym depends on individual preferences, goals, and access to resources. The most important factor is consistency and finding a routine that works for you.


    1. Can PCOS be treated with exercise?

    While exercise alone cannot treat PCOS, it can be an important component of an overall treatment plan. Exercise, when combined with a healthy diet and other lifestyle changes, can help manage PCOS symptoms, improve insulin sensitivity, promote weight loss, and enhance overall well-being.

    2. Can walking reduce PCOS symptoms?

    Walking is a simple yet effective form of exercise that can positively impact PCOS symptoms. Regular brisk walking can help improve cardiovascular health, promote weight loss, enhance insulin sensitivity, and reduce stress levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week to experience the benefits.

    3. Which is better for PCOS, gym, or yoga?

    Both the gym and yoga can be beneficial for managing PCOS, but they offer different advantages. The gym provides access to a wide range of equipment and facilities for strength training and cardiovascular workouts. On the other hand, yoga focuses on mindfulness, stress reduction, and flexibility. It can help balance hormones, improve posture, and promote relaxation.

    Key Takeaways

    In conclusion, exercise plays a crucial role in managing the symptoms of PCOS and improving the overall well-being of women affected by this condition. By engaging in regular PCOS exercise, women can experience a range of benefits, including weight management, hormonal balance, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced stress, and increased fertility. Remember, getting started on a fitness journey can be overwhelming, but with the right mindset, support, and guidance, it is possible to achieve a healthier and happier life with PCOS.


    1. Patten RK, Boyle RA, Moholdt T, Kiel I, Hopkins WG, Harrison CL, Stepto NK. (2020). Exercise Interventions in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    2. Woodward A, Klonizakis M, Broom D. (2020). Exercise and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Adv Exp Med Biol.

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