Ask & Answer: Why Do I Gain Weight When I Exercise?

by Becky Miller on February 7, 2013

Mandy’s Question: When I exercise why do I gain weight? I tried running, but only seemed to pack on the pounds?

Ask and Answer Ask & Answer: Why Do I Gain Weight When I Exercise?Becky’s AnswerIt is possible to exercise too much or at overly high levels of intensity, which can lead to additional weight gain, decreased moods, intense malaise and even make us more susceptible to sickness by means of decreased immunity. Even with resistance training some women with PCOS still seem to gain weight, too. It’s important not to over train and contribute to the increases in testosterone. Be aware of your body and how it feels after workouts. I’ll be addressing other factors to consider with this question in my next e-mail newsletter.

The best type of resistance to use is your own body. Strengthening activities such as power yoga, ‘boot camp’ style exercises that utilize the body as weight are great. Pilates is wonderful for creating long, lean muscles and relaxes them, too. Yoga and Pilates are especially beneficial because of their stress relieving characteristics.

Resistance or strength training is an integral part of exercising with PCOS. Since we already have elevated levels of testosterone, most of which are stored in our muscles, its important to ‘release’ this extra hormone by activating our muscles through resistance training. Essentially, higher repetitions with lower weight are endurance resistance training exercises that yield long and lean muscle. Lower repetitions and higher weight yields muscle growth. I think we can agree that we all want the long and lean! Don’t shy away from resistance training for fear of bulking up, it’s just not true.

Although resistance training should be the bulk of your exercise, all four elements of exercise need to be incorporated in order to reap the full benefit of exercise to your PCOS.

  • Resistance training
  • Cardio
  • Intervals
  • Stretching

Take it at your own level and pay attention to your body’s weight, energy level and hair/skin characteristics to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Adjust intensity accordingly. We would love to hear your converstions in the comment box below. We DO monitor them and you WILL get responses!

To learn more about exercising with PCOS and to get on a complete plan to help you reverse your PCOS symptoms, contact Becky for a free initial consultation and check out CROWN’s Coaching Programs. 

PinExt Ask & Answer: Why Do I Gain Weight When I Exercise?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Logan March 31, 2013 at 12:59 AM

What is your opinion on Zumba? I have PCOS and was diagnosed in January, after my husband and I had been trying to conceive for well over a year. I started doing Zumba regularly (3-4 times per week) in September. Though I am not technically overweight, I have gained ten pounds since starting Zumba, and just feel “ick.” Does this mean that Zumba is something I should not do, or should do less often? I do enjoy it, and feel great immediately afterward….

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Becky Miller March 31, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Hi Logan, there is a whole that could be causing weight gain. If you have been diagnosed as insulin resistant and/or are not eating a proper PCOS diet, this could all be attributing to weight gain. Definitely keep exercising, though. Include lots of strength training in your routine. Check out my post on how to exercise with PCOS for more details. Thanks so much for stopping by to chat!

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