Most women will go through their last period cycle before their 55th birthday. This new chapter of life takes away some worries but brings new health challenges. PMS symptoms effectively stop, as do the hormonal ups and downs that come with the menstruation cycle.
The relief from concerns such as unplanned pregnancies paired with fewer caregiving duties and more life experience contributes to a phenomenon known as Menopausal Zest. Women in this stage feel empowered and ready to focus their energy on their ambitions and their health.
While there is much to look forward to following menopause, some women do experience symptoms. Drops in estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone lead to numerous side effects. However, most women can minimize their menopausal symptoms by incorporating the following healthy habits into their lifestyles.
Start Weight Training
As the body’s estrogen levels decline, bone loss tends to accelerate. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition caused by weakened bone tissue. Women in menopause can build up their bone density by completing a weight training routine two or three times a week.
Basic weight training often starts with bodyweight-only exercises, such as squats and planks. Over time, extra weight is added incrementally using free weights, machines, or weight straps.
Since weight training is a low-impact exercise, it is suitable even for women with arthritis or joint injuries.
Many of the more common side effects brought on by menopause are exacerbated by nicotine and alcohol. For example, smokers are much more likely to experience hot flashes than non-smokers.
This is partially because the body’s ability to process toxins declines with age. Water loss and a reduction in enzyme production also impact how the body handles alcohol.
Women undergoing menopause may experience more severe hangovers. Women who regularly drink more than four servings of alcohol per week also have an increased risk of certain cancers. Both smoking and alcohol can interfere with hormone replacement therapy, a common treatment for menopause.
Eat a Varied Diet
Women in all stages of menopause are at risk of vitamin deficiencies. Additionally, the risk of diet-related diseases like high blood pressure and obesity increases considerably.
Ideally, women should increase their intake of nutrient-dense foods, like fresh colorful vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Women over 50 also need to consume more protein to counter the loss of natural estrogen. Healthy sources of protein include beans, tuna, and eggs.
Some women will also benefit from supplements or a daily multivitamin. As it is possible to overdose on some types of vitamins, consult a physician before taking any dietary supplements.
Undergo Routine Screenings
Women’s health experts recommend several types of screenings for women between 40 and 65 years old. For example, most women should start annual mammograms between the ages of 40 and 50. Women should also continue taking HPV Aptima tests every five years. Women in non-monogamous relationships should test more frequently.
Following menopause, women should schedule a preventative health check at least once a year to monitor symptoms of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Practice Self Care
As menopause can trigger stress-inducing symptoms, such as mood swings and insomnia, women in this stage should prioritize their self-care.
Learning effective stress management techniques like mindfulness meditation and intentional breathing can prevent menopause-related anxiety and depression. Scheduling frequent massages can also boost blood flow and ease muscle cramping and pain.
Aromatherapy with essential oils can benefit women experiencing fatigue. Energizing scents like peppermint oil and citrus can boost mood and provide some pain relief.
Follow a Sleep Hygiene Routine
Many women experience severe hot flashes during the night, which interrupts their sleep patterns. Some women also experience incontinence and must wake up several times to pass urine. Too many sleepless nights can lead to sleep disorders like insomnia.
Establishing a night routine can make going to bed and staying asleep easier. For example, women should try to get to bed around the same time every night and avoid heavy meals or stimulating activity at least an hour beforehand.
If tossing and turning last longer than ten minutes, experts recommend getting out of bed and sitting in a dark, quiet area until sleepiness returns. Avoid watching TV or using the computer, as the blue light emitted by the screen can have a stimulating effect.