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Menopause. The word itself can put even the strongest woman on alert. We hear all these horror stories about menopause but really don’t know 100% until we experience it ourselves.
Menopause literally means pause in menses. Cessation of our menstrual cycles. That can be a good thing if like me your periods became increasingly more difficult to deal with. But what about how it affects our bodies? That’s a whole other ballgame isn’t it? (Be sure to check my Youtube Channel for many videos on menopause, hysterectomy, fitness, exercise, sex and more: How To Stay Fit Over 50 With Denise)
Some very lucky women cruise right on through menopause while others, like me, have to deal with a whole range of issues. From weight gain to insomnia to the pot belly, all symptoms are not the same for all women.
Symptoms of menopause.
The question becomes what can we do about it? To properly answer that question, we need to go back to the beginning. A woman is considered in menopause when she hasn’t had a period for 12 months. For me, I had surgically induced menopause through my hysterectomy. No 12 months wait for me.
If you still have your ovaries, estrogen production has significantly decreased. We also experience changes in our metabolism. If you feel you’re have a more difficult time losing weight since menopause, you’re probably right.
With reduced estrogen, you may find you tend to hold fat in certain areas. You may find an increase in appetite. We also experience a decrease in cortisol – the stress hormone.
Women in menopause and perimenopause have been found to have elevated night cortisol levels. What does this mean? Our bodies are constantly on alert and elevated cortisol levels leads to belly fat plain and simple.
With all the information we now have, are we fighting a losing battle? The simple answer is no but we are fighting a battle that’s for sure. So what can we do about it?
What can we do about menopause symptoms?
First breathe. There are some simple steps we can do to help alleviate the side effects of menopause:
- Move. Can’t make it any plainer. Get up and get moving. Exercise has been proven to lower levels of body fat in menopausal women. Don’t like to go to the gym? It’s okay. Get outside and walk. If you struggle to motivate yourself, join me and my online fitness classes. You can join live or take a recorded fitness class when it’s convenient for you. Join me here: Online Fitness Classes with Denise All levels including beginner, Senior Fitness and Gentle Flow Yoga at your fingertips.
- Strength training. Strength training increases muscle mass which increases metabolism. If you’ve been lifting weights for a while, it’s time to increase the amount of weight you lift. If you’ve never lifted weights before, consult with a trainer or contact me for private training virtually.
- Watch what you eat. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be either. My goal is always to help you feel strong and sexy in the skin you’re in which is why I don’t promote dieting. Focus on eating clean by eating your food as close to it’s natural source as possible. Eat boneless, skinless chicken with grilled veggies or a salad over a chicken pot pie as an example. Not too difficult right?
- Sleep. It’s important that you give your body the right amount of sleep. If like me you tend to deal with insomnia, you may need to turn the tv off 30 minutes earlier than normal to allow your body and mind to unwind and relax. Melatonin also has been helping me to get and stay asleep.
And most important? Think about menopause as a positive not a negative. No more periods! No more cramps! Those are by far the things I’m happy about since menopause. My life is my own again.