Reformer Pilates and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) | Reformer Pilates Brisbane

What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS is a complexi but common hormonal condition that affects up to 1 in 5 girls and women in their reproductive years. It may cause disruptions to the menstrual cycle, skin and hair changes, as well as cysts on the ovaries.

It is one of the leading causes of infertility, yet many women do not know they have it – up to 70% of women with PCOS remain undiagnosed. Women with PCOS commonly have high levels of insulin, or male hormones known as 'androgens', or both. The cause of this is unclear, but insulin resistance is thought to be the key problem driving this syndrome. 

How PCOS Affects Your Body

  • Excess testosterone – we all produce some testosterone, but too much can prevent ovulation and change your menstrual cycle

  • Insulin resistance – your body has to produce much more insulin than normal to keep blood sugar levels stable. Excess insulin floating around also increases testosterone produce and can lead to…

  • Reduced fertility

  • Irregular or absent periods

  • Excess hair on your body and face (hirsutism)

  • Less hair on your head (alopecia)

  • Changes in your skin, such as acne, or darkened skin patches

  • Weight gain

You may also notice that your self-esteem and body image take a hit, or you experience depression and anxiety from all these physical changes that arise after diagnosis.

But there’s good news! A lot of these signs and symptoms can be improved with a few tweaks to your lifestyle, particularly with exercise. Below is how Reformer Pilates can help you manage your PCOS symptoms.

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Strength Training - Good for reducing insulin resistance, increasing metabolic rate, improving body composition (more muscle and less fat tissue)

A Reformer Pilates class is an exercise class that helps you build strength and control through your muscles. Exercises that target your muscles directly help improve the function of insulin in your body, but can also boost your metabolism by building more muscle mass. Reformer Pilates helps you create long lean muscles, , more muscles simply means burning more calories while exercising, but also throughout the day even at rest. Combining resistance moves with cardio exercise is the best way to ensure you’re building a lean body, achieving a healthy BMI, and reducing your risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

CORE STRENGTH - Good for general well-being and injury prevention, preparing your body for pregnancy

The foundation of all Reformer Pilates exercises is a strong core. Being above your ideal weight can cause lower back pain and poor posture, so including core training in your program is essential. These muscles support the spine and learning how to switch them on ensures you don’t injure yourself during exercise. Also if you’re trying to conceive, start training your pelvic floor muscles! These muscles are also part of your core and help prevent incontinence, boost sexual health, and improve pelvic stability to help support a healthy pregnancy.

The most effective exercise is the one you keep up with, so choose something you enjoy! Reformer Pilates is an enjoyable way to ensure you are ticking all the boxes, improving your strength, flexibility and core strength. Elle from any.BODY Pilates is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and she will ensure you are exercising right for your condition. She can provide a tailored home exercise program, introduce you to the appropriate reformer Pilates class as well as provide lifestyle advice and support to help you reach your health and well-being goals.

 

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