COLUMN: Three steps to mastering the menopause

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October 18 is World Menopause Day.

Menopause has been a taboo subject for years.

Recently, celebrities like Ulrika Johnson and Davina McCall have shared their issues with menopause, encouraging more women to talk about theirs.

As a 51-year-old peri-menopausal woman, I share the same problems that face so many women and it’s no joke.

Firstly, there is peri-menopause (this can start from as young as 35 years old), then menopause and finally Post-menopause.

Peri-menopause is the time of most hormonal change, bringing a plethora of symptoms such as: insomnia, brain fog, poor concentration, poor memory, weight gain (especially around the middle), restless legs, hair loss

cravings for sugar, mood swings and low sex drive.

Of course, the severity of the symptoms varies from woman to woman.

A few lucky women won’t even notice menopause.

The rest of us will experience some, or all the symptoms above, to varying degrees.

Whilst HRT is an option, there are many natural ways to manage menopause without the need for pharmaceuticals.

My menopausal clients and I focus on three main areas: nutrition, exercise, and self-care.

Nutrition - A healthy balanced diet is important whatever your age, but particularly so during the ‘3rd Age’

Limit processed foods to a bare minimum

Increase green veg and include whole fruits

Ensure adequate amounts of healthy protein sources - fresh fish and good quality meat/poultry

Limit alcohol and sugar

Aim for a diet of NATURAL foods, having the odd treat here and there.

Exercise - As we age, we lose bone density and muscle mass.

Regular weight bearing exercise can help reduce the risk of Osteoporosis and keep your metabolism working hard too.

Keep your exercise sessions short and intense; 20 minutes is enough.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the perfect style of exercise for this time of life.

Make sure you chose exercises that use your whole body – press ups, squats, lunges etc.

Move more in general too.

Walking in nature is perfect for calming the mind and managing stress.

Self-Care -

During this very special time of life, it is important to start taking good care of yourself.

Make some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just for a 10-minute walk or a lovely relaxing bubble bath.

During menopause we are much more ‘stress reactive’ so managing stress through relaxation is vital.

Menopause needn’t be a nightmare. It can be a very positive and rewarding time of a woman’s life!!

For more information email Sue at info@isleloseit.com