Last month we looked at how to accommodate your fitness around your cycle; maximising cardio mid-month, and using weights during the Pre-M stage, and how even the mind is more receptive to challenging choreography, say, on certain days of our month. What about when we get older and these days are passing or gone?
Hormones can enter a chaotic phase and what scares many women I’ve talked to is the unpredictability of how long this will last, and how severe they might find the whole experience (whereas in fact, many sail through it). Perimenopause can last up to 10 years and the menopause up to 4, starting generally from the mid 40’s. I did a fantastic course on the menopause and the biggest take home messages were:
No woman is the same. Even if you find the perfect supplement, HRT, or Bio-idenetical hormones, keep an open mind to the fact the benefits might not last, and you might need to switch.
Eat well, (to make the hormones that keep you young),
sleep well, get to bed by 10.30, at least 5 times a week – your cortisol levels will come right down, and your body can repair and rest.
Avoid stress, (incredibly ageing), hydrate well, and avoid toxins. Also try to keep your life fresh – embrace new experiences; a boring life can be really draining.
See any emotional turbulence as a message to assess what is helping or hindering your personal happiness.
Exercise is great at this stage of your life too, as it will help to keep you buoyant. Endorphine (the ‘feel good’ hormone released with exercise), can really help any mood swings or feeling blue. Weight lifting will help to keep bones dense (we’re more prone to osteoporosis now). If you feel you need to lose body fat/weight do it whilst you’re in the peri-menopause phase if you can. It’s much harder when you’re in the menopausal stage, as the body is using Estone to produce Oestrogen and this is produced in the Adrenals and in fat cells. (Your body will now protect these fat cells, so you’re now fighting your own physiology!). Some women may grieve the loss of their youth and their reproductive years, or feel they have lost their way, but if you are able to switch your mind set, you might also see it as the most liberating phase of your life: Children have flown the nest, your older but wiser and more self-confident, with more free time and freedom to do as you please, pursuing your own desires instead of being tied to those of the family. Embrace!