Cycling for Women: Benefits for PCOS and How to Maximise Them


Cycling for Women: Benefits for PCOS and How to Maximise Them

Cycling for Women
Cycling for Women

Though public awareness fluctuates, one fact remains true: over 1 in every 10 women in the UK have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is thought to be genetic in nature and causes hormonal imbalances that result in irregular periods, increased male hormone production, and enlarged ovaries. PCOS can also cause insulin resistance, making you more likely to become overweight or obese.

Due to these effects, PCOS can eventually lead to health-threatening conditions like type 2 diabetes. That’s why the NHS recommends that it be managed through proper diet and exercise. When working to regulate hormones and manage weight, aerobic activities are thought to be best for women with PCOS.

If you have the disease and are searching for a fun yet effective way to manage it through exercise, look no further than cycling.

How cycling helps with PCOS 

It boosts your metabolism 

Cycling strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscles to improve oxygen circulation and overall endurance. As your muscles grow stronger, they’ll require more energy to maintain. Your body will have to leverage more fat and glucose from storage to fuel them, increasing your metabolic rate and burning more calories. Aside from helping you manage your weight if you’re overweight or obese on PCOS, this will also aid in improving your insulin sensitivity and lower your chances of developing further complications like diabetes.

It improves sleep quality 

Your ovarian follicles have lower melatonin concentrations than women without PCOS. Since melatonin regulates your body clock, you’re more likely to develop sleep disorders like insomnia. Low-quality sleep can also exacerbate PCOS by further unbalancing your hormones. Cycling helps by requiring focus on the road and physical exertion. By naturally tiring your mind and body, it can help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling more rested without worsening PCOS symptoms.

It’s fun

Exercise is crucial for addressing multiple impacts of PCOS on your health and well-being, including your metabolism, insulin sensitivity, hormone levels, and increased vulnerability to mental health issues like anxiety. However, sticking to a regular workout routine is often challenging if you view it as a chore. That’s why it’s ideal to do physical activities you actually enjoy. Cycling is a great candidate for the job for a simple reason: it’s fun! You’ll spend more time outdoors exploring new roads and trails—and after just 30 minutes, it can relieve stress, improve your mood, and ultimately encourage you to bike more for regular exercise.

How to maximise the benefits of cycling for PCOS 

Start slow

If you’re just picking up cycling now to manage PCOS, remember that slow and steady wins the race. Start with shorter rides to build your confidence and endurance. For example, you can take a quick ride to the nearest shop to buy snacks. From here, extend your cycling sessions. Explore your area’s quieter bike lanes, or start commuting to work by cycling. You can then start to tailor longer workouts, depending on your preferences. Biking at your own pace for two hours or more is a fun way to exercise on casual occasions like weekend rides with friends, while short but higher-intensity sessions can help you fully maximise the activity’s fat-burning abilities. These steps ensure you can establish a cycling habit for long-term PCOS management.

Eat right

Fueling your body with the right nutrients will enhance cycling’s benefits for managing PCOS symptoms. Carbs will be your primary energy source, so eat whole grains that burn slowly while preventing spikes in blood sugar. To improve your performance, manage your weight, and control your hormones, eat foods with healthy fats like fish rich in Omega-3. Finally, eat the rainbow in fruits and veg—from green spinach and red beets to blueberries and oranges—to get crucial nutrients like vitamins B and D that can energise your cycling sessions, promote regular periods, and improve your mood.

Take the necessary medications

If you’re one of the many women with PCOS who are already overweight or obese, it’s important to note that the insulin resistance and inflammation the condition causes can make it harder for you to manage your weight and improve your symptoms. That’s why you may want to consider supplementing the lifestyle changes you’re making through cycling and eating better. Consult a clinician to see if you’re eligible to take PCOS weight loss medication. Prescriptions for drugs like Metformin can improve your insulin sensitivity. With just that little bit of additional support, you can prevent your biology from negating cycling’s benefits for PCOS management.

If you’re looking for a fun and effective way to manage PCOS, try cycling. Follow these tips to maximise its benefits—and don’t forget to keep up with our news pieces for more on the latest in cycling!

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