3 Top Tips To Manage Your Menopause Health
Updated: Nov 8
I often used to sit and listen to clients who were going through menopause, and some of their stories about sleepless nights, hot flushes, joint aches and pains, road rage, in fact ANY rage!!
In the back of my head I’d be saying to myself “I’ll be ok, this won’t happen to me”.
How wrong I was!
In January 2020 I started with a number of symptoms which I put down to a stressful period I was going through at the time. Knowing what I know now, I’m 99% sure that was the start of my perimenopuase.
Night sweats, irritability, crying at someone else crying on Alan Titchmarsh’s garden programme, forgetting words, erratic periods and serious Imposter Syndrome, in a career I’d been in for 20 years!
All of the above, and a lot more, are symptoms of perimenopuase and menopause. On their own, they could well be a result of something else. But as they all started occurring around the same time it was pretty conclusive that my menopausal years were upon me.
I’d been into health and fitness for most of my life. I was very aware of my diet and what foods worked best for me, and I’d been training hard for over 20 years. I even tried my hand at Crossfit well into my 40’s, keeping up with those half my age!
As I started to study menopause and what was actually going on, and how I could best support it from a health perspective, I realised what I had done for the past 20 years was no longer optimum.
This was a big deal for me as I had to re-think the way I trained and some of the things I loved to eat. It was time to start paying more attention to managing my stress levels, focusing on an evening routine which supported a good quality night's sleep, and diving even deeper into my mindset and the constant thoughts going round and round in my head.
So now I no longer kick my own ass in the gym 6 times per week. I have become very aware of certain foods which cause bloating and discomfort, and exacerbate the pain I was getting around my cycle. I have become more invested in how I look after my health besides exercise and nutrition.
As a result of experiencing first hand the trials and tribulations of entering this next transition period of a woman's’ life and investing my time reading and researching around the topic to best serve my clients, I have come up with my top 3 tips for looking after your menopause health…
1. Make sleep your best friend. Stop watching Netflix until gone past midnight and get into bed early with a book and a calming hot drink. PUT THE LAPTOP DOWN and instead listen to some music or watch one of your favourite shows on TV.
Poor sleep has a direct impact on your hormones and metabolism. Even if you’re doing all the ‘right things’ with your diet and exercise, if you aren’t getting good quality sleep it will impact all your efforts. Aim for bed by 10pm, make your bedroom a peaceful sanctuary, wind down at least an hour before bed and be consistent.
2. Walking and strength training combined, is the new exercise prescription. Pounding away on the treadmill or cross trainer, sweating your ass off like a woman possessed in a Spin class or HIIT session will not be optimum for your health!! Too much cardio that stresses the body will raise your cortisol levels and make it almost impossible to create a lovely, peaceful, serene and tranquil environment for your hormones to just chill the f*%& out!
Walking is one of the most amazing and beneficial exercises you can do and it's absolutely FREE!!! Get outside in nature and bathe in that glorious natural world we’ve been blessed with.
To supplement that, it's time to start thinking about supporting your bones and joints so you can move into your senior years feeling like you’re still in your 20’s! Strength training won’t make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it will make your body work for you! A good regular session in the gym adding some resistance to your body will help to build muscle so you can burn more fat. It also reduces the risk of falls and fractures, and it makes you feel pretty damn good too.
3. Be kind to yourself. Duh! That might sound obvious but I know plenty of women who spend their days cursing themselves, hating at the reflection in the mirror and quite frankly giving themselves a really hard time.
Now is not the time to be your own worst enemy. Now is the time to be your best friend. Think about how you talk to your mother, siblings, girlfriends. I’m pretty sure you would never say the things to them you say to yourself.
I know this can be tough for a lot of women, trust me I worked with hundreds over the years, and it seems to be a superpower we all have. But my final word is you are beautiful, you are amazing, you are much stronger than you think and, with a little help and support, you’ve got this.