Perimenopause - or the period leading up to menopause - is something all women experience. But the fact that so many people share the perimenopausal symptoms does not make it easier to cope with them.
Whether you are dealing with barely noticeable signs, or the changes are so drastic that you are struggling to recognise yourself, there is a lot that can be done to make this vulnerable time more enjoyable. In this guide by Innopure, you’ll find some actionable tips to help you cope gracefully with the changes happening in your body and mind.
Rethink Your Diet and Focus on Fresh, Whole Foods
The perimenopausal period can last between a few months and a whole decade! At first, you might not notice changes in your appearance and silhouette. However, especially during the run-up to menopause, the metabolism slows down and the body redistributes fat storage.
On average, women experiencing perimenopausal symptoms will gain around 1-2kgs (2-5 lbs), but many are at risk of gaining more.
While weight gain is a common downside of the menopausal transition, this effect isn’t inevitable and can be managed through suitable dietary changes. In this case, you should not think twice about consulting a specialised nutritionist.
However, as a general rule to keep in mind, consider limiting processed foods that are rich in salt or trans fats. And, design a diet around nutritious, fresh, whole, and seasonal ingredients.
Replenish Your Body’s Vitamins With the Right Supplements
During perimenopause, your body will experience a drop in hormone levels which, in turn, can cause a range of negative effects on your health and wellbeing. With the right vitamin and supplement intake, you can replenish low levels of essential compounds and strengthen your immune system.
Some of the essential ones to introduce into your daily diet include:
- B Vitamins - vitamins like B-2, B-6, B-9, and B-12 can boost cognitive function, reduce the risk of depression and brain fog, and reduce the intensity of hot flashes.
- Vitamin C, A, and E - These vitamins are antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress and can protect you against cancer, bone disorders, and heart disease
- Vitamin D - also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, vitamin D is essential for bone health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis that stems from menopause-related bone mass loss.
- Minerals - minerals like Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron can help you cope with the increased demand on your body and reduce the risk of dangerous deficiencies.
Workout and Keep Active
Keeping active during the perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal periods is vital to maintain your body and mind in great overall health as you age. Even more importantly, moving your body on a regular basis allows you to steer clear of that vicious circle most women find themselves in!
Indeed, as the perimenopausal symptoms hit, many women find it hard to keep up with their fitness and health routine, which can deteriorate their health. Poorer fitness levels can lead to aches, pains, and injuries, which can lead to reduced movement.
But while moving your body is essential, so is finding a fitness routine that works for the changing needs of your body. While you might have been able to endure long aerobic sessions, you might now need to resort to interval training, weight lifting, and reduced cardio. Don’t forget that, no matter the type of exercise you choose, the secret is in finding an activity that you truly enjoy and you can be consistent with!
Protect Your Health With Wise Lifestyle Choices
The menopausal period is a phase of a woman’s life during which both her mental and physical health are at their most vulnerable. That is why it is important to understand how to reduce the risk of diseases and keep your mind and body healthy.
As the levels of oestrogen drop, your heart might not be as well-protected against diseases. To reduce the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease, consider:
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Quitting smoking
- If overweight or obese, losing weight
- Practising regular exercise
- Adjusting your diet
Pro tip - During menopause and perimenopause, you might struggle with sleep issues like insomnia, sleep apnea, and night sweats. However, don’t forget that a good night’s sleep is essential to lower inflammation and protect your health. So, consider adapting your physical sleeping environment and working with a sleep specialist and a dentist.
Use a Mind-Body Approach
Perimenopause and menopause can take a toll on a woman’s mental and emotional health. A survey conducted on 2000 UK women in menopause showed that 53% of them suffered from depression and low mood, 50% experienced anxiety, and 42% reported mood swings and anger.
In turn, mental and emotional issues can have a significant negative effect on all aspects of your life, including relationships, social interaction, professional life, and personal well-being. And, if you are struggling with mood swings, depression, and anxiety, you might find it much harder to deal with the menopausal changes.
Make sure to protect your mind as well as your body by lowering stress levels, practising disciplines like yoga and Tai Chi, and introducing mindful meditation into your routine.
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