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Fitness Friday: Did you know, not working out is good for your PCOS?

Yup, you heard it here.
Nope, I’m not telling you to ditch the exercise.
I’m encouraging you to be sure you’re balancing exercise with rest, and not overtraining.
If you’re trying to lose weight, your focus is likely on losing fat. That’s a nice goal, and I’m guessing you’ll feel better about what you see when you look in the mirror if that results from your exercise, but it’s not really the main reason you’re exercising for PCOS.
You need to gain muscle. The more muscle mass you have, the harder it is to be insulin resistant. The act of exercise actually breaks muscle down. It rebuilds during periods of rest. It’s the balance of exercise and rest that matters, way more, than how many hours of exercise you’re actually doing.
It can be a vicious cycle to break out of, because insulin resistance itself actually breaks down muscle. So if it’s been awhile since you’ve actively exercised, and you’re not losing weight the way you’d hoped you would when you committed to the gym, consider that your ratio of muscle to fat is not high enough. Your priority, first and foremost, is to build and maintain that muscle.
Focusing too much on losing fat and overtraining in the process… will undermine your progress.
Exercising too late in the evening, getting up too early in the morning to get to the gym (it’s not uncommon to hear women say they’re up at 3 am to fit in the workout), or simply working out so much and so hard that you’re not sleeping well… are all easy ways to sabotage your success.
Things you need to keep in mind:
You need to eat enough protein so that your body builds muscle mass while you're not active.
2. You need to sleep enough so that you don’t promote insulin resistance.
3. You need to not push yourself so hard that you’ve stopped burning fat—monitor your heart rate!
4. You need to vary the workouts so all muscle groups are involved and have a chance to build up. Also, you need to develop the confidence to trust that PROACTIVE exercising, as opposed to REACTIVE exercising, is your path to success. Too often women with PCOS weigh themselves in the morning and if the weight is not what they want to see, react by doubling, even tripling their scheduled workout time in order to “get control” of the situation.
When you’re exercising with the goal of building muscles to reduce insulin resistance, you understand that overtraining is your enemy. You create an exercise plan that perhaps you even map out on your calendar, that you commit to regardless of how you’re feeling or what the scales says. For example, I just mapped out my spring training schedule. One of my friends and I have decided we’re going to take tennis lessons. We both own businesses, and committing to this ensure that we actually get out and move. I also love to swim, and it’s one way I can stay active as the weather in Arizona gets warm. And, I’ve been wanting to bump up my elliptical workouts and try spin classes. So, for the next three months, on my calendar, every fourth day, I’ve written “tennis”, every fourth day “spin”, every fourth day “swim”… and then I schedule a day off. It’s right there in my planner so when I start scheduling meetings and accepting social invitations, I only schedule in a way that does not take away from that commitment to myself. I varied the exercise to give my different muscle groups a rest, and to give me enough variety to not get bored.
And don’t get me wrong… I do relish the day off! We all need a little bit of laziness, sleeping in, and getting caught up. I find, personally, if I don’t have the day off, I have trouble sleeping and I have trouble keeping up with the appetite. I have designed this program to fit with the way I’ve learned my body works. If I like spin, I’ll keep it, or I may prioritize swimming during the heat of the summer. We’ll see. I kind of need to mix it up over time to stay interested.
The point of this post is, the reactive and self-punitive approach many of you have toward exercise, because of your focus on reducing body fat, is your absolute biggest enemy. Focus on building muscle, even though it may mean seeing your weight increase on occasion. It’s reflecting muscle, not fat, and it’s a good sign.
Muscle, muscle, muscle!

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Fitness Friday: Did you know, not working out is good for your PCOS? + trip