Monday, September 17, 2012

Chronic Pain Conditions... and Exercise

     Most women with PCOS also deal with some other physical challenges, most dealing with pain and inflammation.  I don't have specific stats or details, but in working with women with PCOS, moderating webpages where women go to for support, and in being a women WITH PCOS, I know that we as a group have a higher than average percentage of us dealing with fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other conditions that create another barrier to getting in more movement and exercise.

     So, what do we do?  Some days it feels like we should just throw in the towel, switch on the TV, put our feet up, and let that darn diagnosis just have it's way in our minds, spirits, and bodies.  But, in doing so, we give up the power we each have to be the best we can be, challenges or not, and, in allowing our bodies to get weaker by not moving unless we have to, we get stuck in a cycle of pain and weakness that will eventually crush the very last amount of strength we have in every way.

     I am dealing with some challenges right now physically, but I know in my heart that giving up on myself and my health is not an option... and I took to doing some research to remind myself how important gentle but consistent movement (exercise) is to those of us who are dealing with pain and health conditions in addition to our PCOS.

     PCOS causes our bodies to not use insulin effectively.... and therefore, we are more prone to weight gain and more insulin resistance, resulting in Type 2 diabetes.  I have been able to reverse this tendency over the past few years and lower my insulin by moving my body each day and eating adequate protein and lower glycemic foods.  (You should always consult a health professional before you start an exercise program/eating plan, but I know from my experience that lowering my insulin levels through exercise and movement has helped my overall health and lowered my PCOS symptoms.)  Whether it's cardio, strength training, or interval training, gentle, daily movement is always a good goal for everyone, not just those of us with PCOS.

      But what about women with fibromyalgia or arthritis?  How do you possibly choose to move your body when it's hurting, stiff, and sore?  Well, again, it's proven fact that gentle but consistent movement of your body actually helps you keep your strength and mobility.  Any movement is better than nothing, especially if you are making sure to listen to your body and do what you can each day.  It may be just getting up and walking to the mailbox, or taking a stroll after dinner, but making that choice can set off a ripple effect of better choices ultimately leading to better health.

     Don't let a diagnosis leave you feeling defeated or powerless over the things you can control.  Keep in mind all of the benefits of taking care of yourself  -  Take charge today and know that you can do little things that add up to big things.  I am right there with you!

 See ya around Facebook!

Gina Weeks, AZ Volunteer Representative for Power Up for PCOS

Written by: Gina Weeks, AZ Representative for Power Up for PCOS which provides support to women with PCOS through educational Power Up Groups, building connections with other PCOS women, calendar of upcoming PCOS events, professional referrals and reviews, PCOS store, and other specialized events to raise money for PCOS research.  To find our more, visit, email or by calling 810-545-PCOS (7267)

Power Up for PCOS - emPowering Women to Manage PCOS

*Please note that I am not a medical professional. I am not qualified to give out any medical advice. I am a woman with PCOS who is sharing my personal experiences in this blog and I advise you to consult a professional.* 

If you have fibromyalgia, I would suggest you read this article for tips and encouragement:  click here

If you deal with arthritis, I would read this article for tips and encouragement: click here

No comments:

Post a Comment