Stress-management, diet and exercise can play an important role in reducing your menopause symptoms, allowing you to experience an easier transition. However, if you are like me, the thought of regularly hitting the gym or enjoying the delights of a Spartan diet simply won't inspire you. Fortunately, as I detail, there are other options.
In an ideal world we would all sail through the menopause with hardly a blip but for most of us we have to work hard in some way or other to support our body and minimise symptoms.
We mention, many times, in our articles about how diet, exercise and stress management are crucial for creating an easier path. (I spoke about stress in my last blog) How have I managed with exercise and diet, especially as I love food and am not keen on general exercise regimes! It is hard work but I have learned through the years that diet and exercise are so important in keeping me healthy and just about symptom free.
As I said, I love food and eating a Spartan diet would be my idea of Hell, so I try to follow the 80:20 rule. I eat very healthily most of the time but if I am out for a meal or for celebrations or on holiday then I really enjoy myself. The trick is once the occasion is over to quickly go back to my healthy choices (not always easy especially after a holiday of paella and sangria!).
Exercise, where do we fit that in? I have a busy life – most women do these days – and trying to fit a regular exercise regime into an already full week is virtually impossible; plus do we really have the energy and motivation?
But, I need to exercise as it makes me feel better and I can control my weight more easily, especially after I have been not so good! I don’t like gyms and walking first thing in the morning is not really an option up here in Scotland, especially in the winter!
So for me I have resolved to get up and do Yoga before work at least 3 times a week. Getting up at 5.40 is no fun and I admit there is the odd morning when I just say ‘stuff it’. However, once I have finished I feel awake, focused and enthusiastic about the day ahead.
My exercise boredom threshold is very low, I can’t stand doing the same exercise regime every day so I have several Yoga DVDs that have a Matrix system where I can make up different sessions every day and make them short or long depending on how I feel.
If you have done Yoga search out Shiva Rea or Ana Brett on Amazon. If you have not done Yoga before there are lots of beginners ones as well. If you have Sky you can find Shiva and other Yoga classes on the Health and Fitness Channel. You can record these and do them when you have time.
Aerobic exercise is very important too, especially for bone health, but I don’t like jogging or fitness classes (plus these take time) so I try and do P.A.C.E. 3-4 nights a week – it only takes 15 minutes and I can usually fit it in whilst my dinner is cooking! For more info Google ‘P.A.C.E. exercise’
I love hill walking too and try to have a hill day once a month, weather permitting! Getting away from it all into the peace and quiet of the hills is a wonderful tonic! So, for someone like me who isn’t too keen on exercising, keeping myself fit only takes about 30 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening 3-4 times a week and I don’t even have to leave the house!
You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.