Now that we know that routinely giving hormone therapy (HT) to women in order to prevent diseases that increase in the post-menopausal years is not a good idea, many women and their doctors are wondering what we can do to reduce the risk of these diseases.
In the post-HT world, we find ourselves back to basics. You guessed it. Exercise and diet (especially exercise) are proving amazingly beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis in menopausal women, as well as in controlling the most bothersome symptoms of menopause: Hot flashes, mood swings and insomnia.
It is far easier and quicker to pop a pill than to go for a walk. And far easier and quicker for a doctor to write a prescription than to counsel patients about diet and exercise. But the simple approaches are by far the safest, and are proving to be the most beneficial ways to take care of ourselves throughout our lives, but especially as we age.
Getting the word out about the enormous benefits of a good diet and regular exercise is complicated by the fact that there is not much new to say about it. There are only so many creative ways to write newspaper and magazine articles about eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and taking a brisk walk every day. So editors want something else, something new. That tends to give us the impression that there is something new to say.
Of course, there are plenty of new ideas about good things to eat and fun ways to get more movement in your life. But the basic message hasnít changed, and isnít likely to. The single best thing you can do to protect your health as you age–well, you already know, donít you? Iíll spare you the repetition (for now!).
Readers: What creative things are you doing to stay healthy and avoid using hormone therapy? Use the comment field below to share your tips.