The phase of life where you go from being a lady to being a ‘wise woman' - what a beautiful and empowered place to be! Menopause, perimenopause, and post menopause are stages in a woman's life when her monthly period stops. Perimenopause is the first stage in this process and can start 8 to 10 years before menopause. Menopause is the point when a woman no longer has menstrual periods for at least 12 months. Post-menopause is the stage after menopause. Often though for many women it can feel as though our bodies are screaming at us, hot flushes, mood swings, night sweats, weight gain, loss of bone density, loss of skin elasticity, and fatigue just to name a few.
So what is Happening ??
Our main female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone are being produced less and less and hence we no longer have a menstrual cycle usually for 12 months and therefore no more fluctuation in hormone levels.
- Menopause causes our bodies to reserve more energy which means we can be more likely to gain weight or struggle to lose it
- We are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease
- Decrease in bone density
Not all bad though there are wise women things we can do to help you !!!
What should be done?
First things first, the worst thing that you could do for yourself is to go on a crazy restrictive diet with little to no nutrients and smash the cardio. When menopause has you down, remember it's a temporary state. The healthy diet and exercise habits you put in place during menopause will keep you feeling great after the hot flashes, mood swings, and sleepless nights pass.
- Understand your energy availability (fatigue and energy levels are an absolute priority)
- Participate in daily movement activities (avoid being sedentary)
- Participate in resistance training as it is important for bone density.
- Ensure adequate calcium and Vitamin D levels through diet or supplements
- Avoid “trigger” foods such as caffeine, alcohol, and sugar
- Stay hydrated to help eliminate dryness in the skin and body
- Eat all of the protein to aid in maintaining lean muscle mass
Since you will no longer be producing certain hormones, you need exercise more than ever to keep your bones strong. Post-menopausal women are at a high risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. If you work out, you can preserve bone density and avoid fractures. In other words, if you have not started working out yet, you need to start. Finally, always keep in mind that menopause is not a disease but a normal life transition. Once you have had an entire year without any period, you have arrived at post-menopause, which is a wonderful time in life!
- Eat a diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables, focusing on foods with anti-inflammatory properties and high in antioxidants.
- Remove simple sugars from your diet.
- Avoid foods with artificial colors, flavoring, preservatives, or added sugars.
- Eat plenty of fiber, since this will help you control your appetite, your cholesterol, weight, and reduce constipation. Fiber can even balance estrogen levels for some women.
- Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and other leafy greens, since they support a healthy gut microbiome.
- Load up on plenty of protein. This will help maintain lean body tissue and repair muscles. Choose lean meats, nuts, beans, legumes, meat substitutes like tempeh or seitan, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, and so on. Sprouted grain bread is another great source of complex carbs and protein.
A healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of the menopause, helping to keep the heart and bones strong. Many women feel that this is a good time to review the way they treat their bodies. Here are some tips to give your body the easiest ride:
Chew over your diet
The fall in hormone levels that accompanies menopause can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. A healthy diet is essential: keep it low in saturated fat and salt to reduce blood pressure, and rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones.
Keep on your feet
Most women experience increased anxiety during menopause. Regular exercise helps to convert stress into positive energy while guarding against heart disease. A regular, varied program is best. Get the best personal trainers in Australia and start being active.
Smoking has been shown to lead to earlier menopause and trigger hot flushes. If you smoke you also run a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol increases flushes and is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Try to limit alcohol intake to a minimal, like once a week/month..
Stay calm and positive
Hormone imbalance during menopause can result in added stress and even depression. Relaxation techniques and counseling can be very helpful in coping with anxiety.
In order to give a boost to estrogen levels in your body, perimenopausal and menopausal women should consume more flaxseeds, fenugreek seeds, oats, sesame seeds, and barley. These foods contain phytoestrogens which can give a boost to estrogen levels in the body. Eat these foods twice or thrice a week and see if it helps you feel better.
While some risk factors cannot be changed, others can be controlled or modified to create a more heart-healthy lifestyle by following these modifications:
- Don't smoke
- Control blood pressure
- Control cholesterol levels and triglycerides
- Prevent diabetes by following a healthy lifestyle
- Exercise regularly
- Improve nutrition
- Reduce stress
- Maintain a healthy body weight
Does menopause impact your mood?
Nearly every single woman going through menopause will notice mood swing. This is linked to the levels of your estrogen hormone dropping. When these levels drop, women might experience fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and extreme mood swings. Before turning straight to medication, explore a more natural option of talking to some professional or a good friend. If you are concerned about your perimenopause or menopause symptoms, please seek the help of women's health professionals.
Ease your way through menopause!
Exercise should add enjoyment and energy to your life, so find ways of moving that give you pleasure along with better health. Wise Women menopause is a natural progression and right to being a Woman, enjoy it and nourish your body with all that she needs and you can live the most empowered life. This is your time for you as you have spent your whole life giving to others.
If you are concerned about your perimenopausal or menopause symptoms, please seek the help of a women's health professional. Stronglife has some of Point Cook's best fitness trainers and top female personal trainers. Enroll in our customized Personal Training program that best suits your needs.
Menopause is a major change in your life, but it doesn't have to leave you feeling like your life has been flipped upside down. You can take control and get in the best shape of your life! By following the nutrition and fitness tips in this article, make the right steps towards health, strength, and wellness. You got this!