Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Ease Menopause

Menopause can be accompanied by an array of unpleasant symptoms. But some simple lifestyle changes have been proven to help you steer a smoother path through this time of life.

Diet

Eating a well-balanced, whole foods diet will help with all areas of your health, including during menopause.

Women have an increased risk for heart disease when they reach menopause. Itís important to limit saturated fats, oils, salt, and sugar because these can lead to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and other heart disease risk factors when consumed in large amounts.

Sleep disturbances are another common symptom of menopause. As many as 61 percent of post-menopausal women report issues with insomnia. Foods that contain caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol can further disrupt sleep and trigger hot flashes, so they should be avoided.

Exercise

Regular physical activity will also help maintain your cardiovascular health and promote better sleep. In addition, exercise has been shown to help control hot flashes, increase bone mass and elevate your mood.

A balanced fitness program should include exercises that improve endurance (aerobic exercise), strength and balance. Postmenopausal women should aim for two hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Breaking this into about 30 minutes of exercise daily is a good approach.

Walking, cycling, swimming, hiking, dancing and tai chi are all great options.

Stress Reduction

Techniques such as deep breathing, guided imagery, massage or progressive muscle relaxation can help you cope with and relieve some menopausal symptoms.

Explore your local bookstore or the various programs available online for relaxation and stress reduction. Many recordings are available that you can listen to in the car or before sleep. Taking a yoga or meditation class can also be very helpful.

Find out what works for you and try to include your favorite techniques throughout your day.

Pelvic Floor Strengthening

Your pelvic floor consists of the muscles, ligaments, tissues, and nerves that support your bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. Itís important to keep your pelvic floor strong in order to help these areas function properly.

Pelvic floor strength can also help control menopausal symptoms in this region, such as urinary incontinence or vaginal dryness.

Youíve likely heard about Kegel exercises, which can strengthen the pelvic muscles. Prevention has some good exercises that will also help.

Working with any type of vaginal weight is another excellent way to build pelvic strength. Practicing with a jade egg is an ancient technique well worth trying out.

Stop Smoking

For anyone with the habit, menopause gives you another good reason to quit smoking.

Female hormone levels naturally decrease during menopause, but smoking is linked to an even further decline in estrogen levels. This may be why it can cause increased menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, weakened bones and bladder irritation.

In addition, women who smoke are proven to reach menopause about two years earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking also doubles a womanís chance of developing heart disease and is a risk factor for osteoporosis.

Weight Control

Another side effect of lower hormone levels is weight gain. Often during menopause, women lose muscle and gain fat, mostly in the belly area. This can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and increased risk for diabetes.

A University of Pittsburgh study found that losing weight helped menopausal women to reduce their hot flashes. It will also improve your overall health.

Try these tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.

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330 comments

Christine J
Christine J3 months ago

A new start; not a loss but a new-found freedom.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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ELIZABETH McGowan
Elizabeth M9 months ago

many thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven11 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill11 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven11 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hallabout a year ago

Thanks.

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Fi T.
Past Member about a year ago

For a good start of a new phase of life

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federico bortoletto
federico babout a year ago

Grazie dell'ottimo articolo.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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