Perimenopause is a time of change, and for many women, it's also a great time to introduce healthy lifestyle choices to help ease the symptoms that come along with the transition. When perimenopause strikes, estrogen levels start to decline. This leads to bodily changes such as breast tenderness and erratic changes in mood.
Heart Health Starts with Diet
A high-fiber, low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to help reduce the symptoms of perimenopause, such as hot flashes. An increase in weight is commonly associated with perimenopause. Start changing your diet by consuming sufficient calcium-rich foods and eating whole grains instead of simple carbs. Consuming calcium and vitamin D will help strengthen your bones to prevent osteoporosis, and more whole grains will improve your digestion.
Eating oily fish - such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines - has been shown to reduce risk of coronary artery disease thanks in part to their omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, choose wholegrain, high-fiber foods such as legumes, whole wheat, oats, rye, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, and quinoa. In addition, limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods, which can trigger hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Consistent physical activity not only helps prevent weight gain, but it also improves sleep, strengthens and maintains bones, and encourages emotional stability. Balance caloric intake with physical activities like jogging, walking, and strength training. Exercising five times a week for 30 minutes a session has been shown to help prevent bone fractures and loss in women during menopause. In addition, exercise has a significant impact on mood and has been shown to be very helpful in managing menopause symptoms like irritability.
With daily stressors at home and work, perimenopause can be a lot to handle with its unpredictable changes. Practicing regular stress-reducing techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can promote good health not just now, but also throughout your lifetime. This is especially helpful during the transition to menopause.
Perimenopause is a time of transition, and with healthy lifestyle modifications, the symptoms associated with perimenopause can be greatly reduced. Click on the following link to learn more about perimenopause.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015). Menopause. Retrieved December 15, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/basics/definition/con-20019726
- National Health Service UK. (2015). Menopause. Retrieved December 15, 2015, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/pages/introduction.aspx