As much as you’d like to fast forward and skip menopause, that’s not going to happen. Although it’s easy to feel frustrated and stress yourself out due to symptoms you experience, all is not lost. This doesn’t have to be the stressful time of your life, you can make it tolerable and manage your symptoms just by making certain lifestyle tweaks. What can you do? Here are some habits you should adopt during menopause and beyond.
If exercise wasn’t a big part of your lifestyle before, it’s time to work on the physical activity. Since women are prone to weight gain during menopause, regular exercise helps prevent that and keeps your weight in a healthy range. Moreover, if you’re overweight or obese, then physical activity can help you lose extra pounds. In fact, women who lead sedentary lives were 28% more likely to experience more severe symptoms of menopause, compared to ladies who exercise regularly.
Evidence confirming the beneficial impact of exercise on symptoms of menopause keeps mounting. For example, one study discovered that regular physical activity, particularly if it makes you hot, sweaty, and fitter reduces the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.
Are you thinking it’s too late to start exercising now? It’s time to change your mind because researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that some types of physical activity have a greater impact on body composition in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal ones.
Exercise will also:
- Reduce risk of cancer
- Strengthen your bones
- Decrease risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes etc.
- Boost your mood and energy levels
2. See your doctor regularly
Once you reach menopause, you have a higher risk of getting various diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and so on. The best way to prevent them is to see your doctor regularly to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and other risk factors associated with these health conditions. Knowing what’s going on inside your body will allow you to adapt your lifestyle and have a healthy life. If you are don’t want to undergo menopause treatments like hormone replacement therapy, your healthcare provider will provide useful advice and recommendations to manage the symptoms more effectively.
3. Limit alcohol intake
Multiple lifestyle factors influence the way your body handles menopause and symptoms that come with it. Alcohol is one of them. As you age, you become more sensitive to the effects of alcohol on the body. Heavy drinking during menopause is linked to increased risk of cancer, heart problems, liver disease, and osteoporosis.
While having a glass of wine won’t do harm, and can benefit your heart health, drinking higher amounts of alcoholic beverages isn’t only dangerous for your health, but also aggravates hot flashes and other symptoms you experience.
If you can’t avoid alcohol entirely, then keep it in moderation as excessive drinking poses a serious threat to your health and wellbeing.
4. Eat a well-balanced diet
A healthy diet is always important, particularly in menopause. Not only will a well-balanced eating pattern aid weight loss/management, it’s also beneficial for the management of menopause symptoms. For example, one study discovered that frequency of hot flashes is suppressed after eating, while hot flashes usually occur when blood glucose falls between meals. Maintaining stability in blood glucose levels is pivotal to reduce menopause hot flashes, which can be achieved with a well-balanced diet.
A study from the journal Menopausefound that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids has the potential to tackle hot flashes and symptoms of depression in menopausal women. Ideally, your diet should contain plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, but you should limit intake of junk food as well as foods that trigger hot flashes. It’s useful to keep a food journal to identify those triggers and avoid them.
5. Quit smoking
Not only does smoking increase risk of pulmonary and heart diseases, this bad habit can make your menopause worse too. There’s more, women who smoke enter menopause at a younger age compare to nonsmoker ladies. Additionally, smokers experience more hot flashes than women who don’t smoke. So, if you’re a smoker and experience severe hot flashes, then quitting or cutting back will help. Although you probably assume there’s no way you can quit smoking now, it’s entirely possible. This is yet another topic to discuss with your doctor who’ll recommend useful ways to achieve that goal.
Fatigue is a common menopause symptom and it is usually caused by dehydration. Staying hydrated throughout the day will boost your energy levels and productivity, but will reduce fatigue, headache, and other symptoms you experience. The best way to determine whether your body is well-hydrated is to look at the color of your urine. Ideally, it should be pale yellow. The darker the urine, the less hydrated you are. This is yet another reason to reduce alcohol intake and caffeine since they have dehydrating effect.
Menopause doesn’t have to be associated with stress and frustration. To go through the transition smoothly, it’s necessary to make some lifestyle adjustments and adopt certain habits that will keep you healthy and reduce the severity of symptoms. You can do it!