In other words your signals are broken. Your body doesn’t receive the message to let sugar in so your body releases more and more insulin because the blood glucose remains high. So what does this all mean when it comes to training?
It is easier than you think to create big issues with your hormones by doing the wrong types of exercises. As women, trying to lose weight we seem to opt for the long bouts of cardio. Trust me, I get it. For years I listened to the “experts” on the internet and people who didn’t understand hormonal disorders. I performed workouts that included light to medium weights, full body workouts with no rest periods, instead I jumped around doing plyometrics to “burn fat”. I did high intensity metabolic workouts on the days in between, I went low, low carb and higher fat. All I got was inflamed, tired, angry, and no weight loss.
You can absolutely overdo it with the long cardio sessions like running, which can trigger the stress hormone (cortisol) which is what I was experiencing. You have to think about how your body handles stress and if you have any hormonal issues going on then stress is something you want to reduce to decrease the rise in cortisol. Your body doesn’t know the difference between good and bad stress, therefore, exercise can be foreseen as stress. All your body feels is a pounding heart rate, heavy breathing, and anxiety so we have to change what the body is experiencing and turn it into a less anxious event.
This is where walking comes in for a majority of your cardio sessions. I used to think it was the most boring thing I can do until I started really paying attention to getting in a minimum of 10,000 steps a day and saw an immediate difference in my inflammation. It became a game of making sure I hit my steps each day. I used it as a chance to slow down from my normal busy, fast paced schedule, get out in the fresh air, clear my mind, and I really started enjoying these moments.
Walking is a hormone stabilizer and a movement our bodies were meant to do every day.
Your muscles are the storing house for excess glucose and by increasing your lean muscle mass you help to resolve your insulin issues which results in a healthy body composition. Which translates to a leaner and tighter body- which is the goal here.
But how do you gain more lean body mass? This is where training with weights comes in but I’m not talking about the barbie bells, ladies. Don’t be afraid of lifting heavy weights. In order to increase the amount of muscle your body has, then you need to challenge the muscle with weights and the only way to do this is to lift the big weights.
I’m not saying go walk up to the dumbbell rack and grab the biggest weights on the rack; you need to lift what is heavy to you right now. BUT… keep in mind this should be changing each workout. Challenge yourself each workout with pushing one more rep or lifting a little heavier. Your body will respond and you will start seeing some beautiful changes. You must keep in mind that we are trying to keep our bodies calm which means you need to pay attention to your rest periods in between your workout sets as well.
Remember earlier when I mentioned I wouldn’t sit still between my sets, instead I would perform plyometric exercises.
Well this is where you need to take 1-2 minutes to rest the muscles. I know it seems boring, it took me a little bit to get used to it, however it serves two purposes. First, you allow the muscles to recover so you can lift heavy at the next set. Secondly, you keep your body calm so it doesn’t sense stress and start producing more cortisol.
If you start following the tips I included here whether you have PCOS, Diabetes, Hashimoto’s disease, or Menopause – you will start seeing the changes in your body that you are after.
If you need help with a workout program contact me. I provide private one on one training in home and in our private studio as well as online training programs that include demonstration videos of all the exercises. Our programs are customized to your goals and the fitness level that you are at.
Julie Wilcoxson is a personal trainer, business owner, author, blogger, wife, and mother. She has managed her PCOS and Endometriosis symptoms for the past decade by living a healthy lifestyle. Her passion is to help women facing hormonal disorders overcome their fear of the mirror by adapting a healthier way of living without following crazy diets.