Menopause is a period characterized by massive changes. It also poses some health risks that younger women are usually not that predisposed towards.
Is staying healthy and happy after menopause possible? Absolutely! You’ll simply need to understand the ways your body has changed and address those in the most adequate, personalized way.
Eat the Right Foods
Post-menopause diet is crucially important. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients to sustain itself. This is why you should try to consume a good range of whole foods.
Some of the dietary recommendations for other stages of life remain valid. Severe restrictions and fad diets are not the way to go. Consuming most types of foods in moderation will produce much better results, both in terms of weight control and health benefits.
Here are a few menopause-specific diet recommendations, as well.
For a start, focus on your calcium intake. You need at least two to four servings of calcium-rich foods per day. If dairy isn’t your main thing, you can opt for other sources of calcium like dark leafy green vegetables, fortified cereals, soybeans, sardines and enriched breads.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re not iron-deficient. If you are, a supplement or iron-rich foods would become important. Some good natural sources of iron include lean red meats, chicken, leafy green vegetables, nuts, fish and eggs.
And finally – don’t forget your body’s need for fiber. High fiber foods keep you regular and reduce the risk of experiencing gastrointestinal issues. All fruits and veggies are excellent sources of fiber. The same applies to wholegrains. You can have pasta or rice if you want to. Just opt for the wholegrain or brown varieties. Once you get used to those, you’ll discover just how flavorful and satiating they are.
Take Care of Your Sexual Health
Needless to say, menopause impacts reproductive health in the most profound way.
Many women find it difficult to cope with the changes or to build a new routine in the aftermath of the transitional period.
This is why you need to be prepared and you have to take special care of your sexual health.
Hormonal changes could contribute to issues like vaginal dryness, libido loss and even painful intercourse. If these aren’t addressed in a good way, they could destroy your sex life and prevent you from experiencing pleasure/satisfaction ever again.
Before doing anything else, talk to your gynecologist. There could be effective management options for your menopause symptoms that you haven’t explored yet.
Lubricants and sex toys like the huge selection available at hotcherry.com will also be incredibly beneficial. Discovering lube will quickly restore your pleasure and youthfulness. You could also explore brand new ways to enjoy sex if your partner is up to the challenge.
Finally, if you’re still getting sporadic periods, make sure you’re using adequate birth control. Getting pregnant later in life isn’t unheard of.
Focus on Your Mental Health
For some women, the mental health consequences of menopause are much more pronounced than the physiological changes they’re going through.
Don’t underestimate the importance of taking good care of your mental health in this transitional period.
Research suggests that the incidence of depression doubles among women in menopause. Both the life changes and the hormone level changes you’re going through could be contributing factors. The situation becomes even more troublesome and challenging due to the fact that the symptoms of depression are often misunderstood or underestimated.
If you feel that you’re going through way too much and you can’t cope with the situation, seek therapy. The sooner you get professional assistance, the smoother the transition is going to bed.
The life period after menopause isn’t the “end of the game.” It’s yet another natural phase of life that can be very exciting if you approach it in the right way. Being equipped with the right coping mechanisms will help you achieve the goal.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle
Post-menopausal women are more predisposed to weight gain than younger ladies. Keeping an active lifestyle, in combination with a balanced diet, will help you reduce the risk of putting on extra pounds.
Maintaining an active lifestyle doesn’t necessarily imply going to the gym five days a week.
There are many other ways to exercise that women tend to find more enjoyable than relying on gym equipment.
Some fun and exciting ways to move your body include walking, hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, joining an exercise class (aerobics, pilates, spinning, Zumba, etc.), roller skating with the grandkids and so on.
Going to a dance class a few times per week can help you control your weight, bring down the risk of osteoporosis, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is also a well-known fact that exercise can improve your mood and make you less prone to depressive episodes.
A Few Additional Tips
As you can see, some minor changes and even maintaining the active lifestyle you enjoyed previously will help you survive and even thrive through menopause.
You know your body well. Listen to the signals it’s sending your way. If you pay attention to the details and understand what makes you feel good, you’ll soon establish an enjoyable routine that will optimize your wellbeing over the coming years.
Apart from the essentials mentioned above, you can do a few other things that will help you feel good.
Let’s start with the obvious ones – handle your unhealthy habits as soon as possible. Smoking, for example, is bad during every stage of life but it can be particularly detrimental during menopause. If you’re using hormone replacement therapy, quitting smoking immediately is essential.
Having a glass of wine every once in a while is obviously fine but try to keep your alcohol consumption under control. This is especially true for hard liquor. If you’re dealing with issues like high blood pressure, alcohol consumption is a big no-no.
Do your best to control stress. Just like poor sleep, stress can lead to hormonal issues and weight gain. In the midlife period, you’ll probably have a huge range of stressors in your life. Eliminate those as much as possible and come up with healthy ways to unwind in the end of a busy day – yoga, meditation, mindfulness techniques and practicing a favorite hobby can all help.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of taking your medications. You should also focus on prophylaxis and having regular tests to make sure that the pharmaceuticals and supplements you’re taking right now are needed an adequate. Seeing your doctor every once in a while to make needed adjustments will keep you healthy without the need to take excessive amounts of medicines.
Accepting the way your body’s changing can be difficult, especially in those first years. Learn to let go and don’t sweat the small stuff. Find support in the people you love. Many women going through menopause will either consciously or unconsciously alienate family members. Don’t succumb to this temptation. Your partner, children and friends love you. They’d be happy to go on your journey and help you deal with anything you’re facing right now. Having the right support system, medical assistance and some realistic expectations will reduce the challenges of menopause and give you more security, as well as peace of mind.