The Road to a Healthy Menopause
Menopause or what most women in refer to as The Big “M” is a rite of passage for a woman. It is an inevitable part of life that every female is bound to experience firsthand. Unfortunately, when we hear the term menopause, it’s usually associated with a negative connotation. Most women dread the day they stop having periods because of the changes that comes with it.
The Changes. The hormonal imbalance that one goes through during menopause leads to several changes that affects how their bodies work. Aside from not having regular periods, most women experience hot flashes, sleep problems such as insomnia or night sweats, drying of vagina and urinary tract infections. Since there is a rapid decrease in their estrogen levels, these women are also prone to osteoporosis leading to brittle and fragile bones, making them at risk for fractures.
The Silver Lining. Despite these significant discomfort, there are many simple ways that we can manage them. Aside from the medications and hormonal therapy that doctors offer, the best way to prepare for menopause is proper diet and exercise. These are the things that you have a 100% control of, and with proper guidance and knowledge, they can be your strongest allies in battling menopause.
Nutrition. A balanced diet is the key to achieve a healthy menopause. Be sure to eat regularly and in moderation. Fruits and vegetables should be included in your meals because they contain protective anti-oxidants that helps fight cancer and diseases of the heart. Eating foods rich in Calcium such as low-fat dairy products or calcium enriched soya can help maintain the integrity of your bones. Taking Vitamin D and Calcium supplements are also helpful in preventing osteoporosis.
Activities. Doing a 30 to 45-minute moderate intensity exercise regularly does not only slow down bone loss but it can do great things to overall health. Weight bearing exercises such as walking, or dancing help maintain strong bones. Doing Yoga or Tai Chi can help with balance making you less prone to falling. On the other hand, strength training using hand-held weights or exercise bands can help strengthen muscles and maintain muscle mass. Exercise also helps release happy hormones that elevates mood making you less prone to hot flashes and depression.
We need not fear menopause. Our bodies are created for a wonderful and marvelous journey. These stages in life are meant to be fully experienced. We are to feel it, go through it. We shall overcome as we age beautifully and gracefully.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “The Menopause Years”. 2015. pdf