Menopause! The Elephant in the Room?
Why do I still meet and speak to women who are ashamed of or afraid to talk about Menopause? It is not the beginning of the end! Women have more than one-third of their life ahead of them after menopause, so why do so many women act so dramatic about Menopause? In my opinion the menopausal transition is a good time for lifestyle changes that could help women make the most of the years ahead of them. A time to finally take care of YOU! Yet the stigma of menopause looms dark and drippy over our beautiful female heads!
The reality is by talking about menopause and going after it 100% you can actually make all the difference during this time of your amazing life! There are many benefits of menopause
Let me start by saying this; the last thing a woman should do is let the fatigue, bloated feeling and depression make them slow down and not exercise! THIS is the time to boost your fitness routine and adjust your food choices, nutritional intake and calories as well as change your skin care routine. Yet I see so many women doing the opposite because they are being told that this is “normal” for women going through peri-menopause and menopause! That is simply not true and unacceptable! Women need to embrace menopause and own it!
There are some illnesses and medical conditions that are associated with menopause such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke breast cancer, ovarian cancer and depression but these are also part of the aging process then to menopause specifically. Women going through menopause tend to gain weight because of the declining estrogen levels in their body. Increasing activity levels, adding more exercise and strength training can help avoid weight gain and bloating while increasing muscle mass, strength and flexibility. Regular exercise benefits bones and heart health, helps control weight gain, and it improves your mood and decreases fatigue and depression too. Women of ALL ages who lead a sedentary lifestyle often suffer from chronic back pain, poor sleep, circulation issues, weak muscles, and depression. They are also more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, risk of cancer and osteoporosis.
Your nutritional needs change after menopause too. You should have up to 1,200 mg of calcium per day. I always recommend a blood test at your yearly female wellness exam to check your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and bone formation and it reduces the risk of spine and bone fractures. However, keep in mind that too much calcium or vitamin D can cause kidney stones, constipation, or abdominal pain, especially if you already have kidney problems so be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any new supplement.
Then there are the dreaded HOT FLASHES! The worse of all menopause symptoms simply because they are present whenever they feel like rearing their ugly head to us, like in the middle of a corporate meeting or presentation perhaps? I have been taking a simple formula of flax, borage and fish oil by Barleans every morning for years and believe that it helped me never really get hot flashes. Reduce alcohol consumption, alcohol especially wine can really bring on hot flashes and that dreaded “beet red” look. Learning to breathe is a must! Deep breathing helps with hot flashes. Deep, slow breathing for 15 minutes 2 times a day can significantly reduce hot flashes. If you feel one coming on while at an important event simply breath it out!
Good nutrition, daily physical movement, strength training, exercise and positive energy are key for a smooth transition into menopause. Adding these new routines to your life will absolutely help with the following:
*Improve hormone health
*Weight loss, decreased bloating and inflammation
*Reduce hot flashes
*You will look and feel younger
*You will enjoy better sleep
*No more fatigue
*Helps to beat the terrible foggy brain feeling
*Kicks depression to the curb
*Reduces stress and anxiety
*Cuts your risk of heart disease
*All will boost your self confidence
*Being active will help to get you social again without feeling bloated and cranky
*Get moving and stop driving yourself crazy with overthinking it all!
There are other methods that you can try to help you stay healthy after menopause and reduce the most common symptoms such as yoga, meditation, Reiki healing, natural supplements and reduced alcohol consumption. If you smoke you should quit ASAP, smoking is a major risk factor in heart disease. Decrease your sugar intake as well because menopause tends to cause sugar cravings, this is a terrible cycle to get caught up in because sugar can actually increase many of the typical menopause symptoms.
One topic that never seems to be addressed enough is skin care. It is very important to revisit your skin care needs at this time due to the hormonal changes of menopause. Facials and dermabrasion are a great addition to your skin care routine if you do not already get them I advise adding them to your anti-aging routine for exfoliation and vibrant looking skin. The products that used to work may not cut it any longer with the decrease in estrogen there is a need for more moisture for dryness and vitamin C for dark spots. I love Shira products they are all natural, organic and provide amazing results!
Menopause is a natural stage in a women’s life. Try looking at this stage of life as a time of freedom and unlimited opportunities to start new things and take time for YOU!