Can Menopause Symptoms Be Alleviated with Healthy Behaviors?

For some women, menopause and perimenopause come and go as natural stages in the life cycle with little to no distress or challenges. For others, it may not always be so easy.  Perimenopause can begin as early as your mid-40’s and even earlier if you are a smoker or have undergone certain medical treatments. If you find yourself experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms, not to worry, there are things you can do to help alleviate these symptoms.

Decrease hot flashes. Hot flashes are a significant concern for women who are experiencing perimenopause or menopause. Negative attitudes towards hot flashes can also contribute to increased stress and anxiety. On the other hand, practicing mindfulness can help with the perceived severity of hot flashes and associated stress and anxiety. Exploring the mindfulness meditations in the app and identifying a unique mindfulness practice to create a plan can help manage some of these uncomfortable moments throughout your day.  

Drinking plenty of water is another way to help reduce hot flashes and you can easily log your water intake in the Fitbit app. Also, consider avoiding foods that can be triggers for hot flashes, such as caffeine and spicy foods. 

Improve your sleep. Sleep is important in all stages of life but is particularly important during menopause. Low levels of progesterone can make falling and staying asleep problematic. Following a regular sleep schedule with a regular bedtime routine, like taking a warm bath or reading a book before bed, can help get the mind ready for bed. The blue light from electronics can cause difficulties sleeping so it’s best to keep TVs, cell phones, and other electronics out of the bedroom. 

Still struggling to get those Zzz’s? Utilize the Sleep Score insights to gain a better understanding of how a consistent sleep schedule, exercising 3 to 4 hours before bed, and utilizing sleep content helps to improve your sleep. 

Increase physical activity. Physical activity plays a key role in limiting the side effects of menopause, and low estrogen may contribute to cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise contributes to heart health, improved mood, and weight management. Bone loss is a concern for women who are in menopause, but can be reduced by regular strength training which increases bone mass. 

But physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated; one study concluded that walking helped postmenopausal women to maintain a healthy body weight. Start small with a walk around the block and aim to increase your steps weekly. 

Pro tip: Practice your mindfulness while walking with a walking meditation, try Walk and Chill or Nature Walking in the Fitbit app. 

Eat a balanced diet. You’re not alone—metabolism naturally decreases with age. Hormonal changes due to menopause can further exacerbate the metabolism causing weight gain. Along with physical activity, diet is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy weight pre- and post-menopause. Enjoying a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, and lean proteins will help you to maintain healthy weight. 

Menopause has its challenges, but it is also a natural and beautiful development in the course of a woman’s life. By keeping in mind the guidance of the above health pillars, you can keep the challenging aspects at bay while enjoying the benefits that come with age and maturity. 

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