Starting in your mid/late thirties, your body starts to reduce production and distribution of its four hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and human growth hormone. You noticed changes in your cycles, your skin, your moods, your sleep cycles and more. Your bio (physical), psycho (emotional) and social (relational) needs require support in different ways to ease you through these transitions.
Practise Sleep Care
Make wonderful sleep a priority. Have no caffeine after breakfast and a light protein snack before bed. Write down your list for tomorrow and let it go. Turn off all blue lights (screens) two hours before bed and remove your phone from the bedroom. Go to bed at the same time, every night, in a dark, quiet and cool room. Learn quieting breathing techniques to help ease you into sleep. Repeat every night.
Eat and Drink Differently
What you ate and drank in your 20’s and 30’s no longer serves you. You need 25% less calories each day. To quote Michael Pollan, eat “Real Food, Mostly Vegetables, Not Too Much”. Eliminate sugar from your diet, ditch processed foods of all kinds and reduce caffeine. Spirits are limited to one 5 oz. glass of wine daily. Nutrition = Joy!
Move more. Tuck walking into your daily routine. Long walks are lovely for movement and downtime, but don’t reduce the tummy pooch that accompanies menopause. Three times weekly, you need to add a high intensity (huff and puff, sweaty, legs burning) exercise for 20 – 30 minutes. This boosts your metabolism, increases your muscle tissue and makes you stronger, improves your balance and elevates your mood.
Protect Your Bones, Heart and Pelvis
Cardiac “events” are experienced by half of all women. Exercise your heart muscle (huff and puff). Bones need impact. You need to surprise them to keep them strong and responsive. Bladder or bowel leakage is never acceptable! Your pelvic organs should be well supported and intimacy enjoyable. Any challenge in these areas can be helped by a certified pelvic/women’s health physiotherapist.
Reduce Your Stress and Practise Restoration
Restoring equilibrium in all areas of your life is important. By now you’ve learned what is meaningful for you, what has been challenging and who you really are. Think “bespoke” by defining your unique gifts, wisdoms and abilities. Give yourself reflection time, a break from life’s busyness in the form of meditation, prayer or yoga. A minimum of 15 minutes a day, every day, is a good beginning.
Come to the Health Fair at the Rec Centre on November 4th to hear more.
Join the Moving through Menopause class in January at the Creston Rec Centre.
Joanne Gailius, BSR, PT/OT is a physiotherapist at Full Circle Health Centre whose practice focuses on Women’s Health, Oncology (cancer-related) and Pelvic Physiotherapy.