An often taboo subject that has received much-needed media attention in recent months, empowering women with access to insightful and actionable information that can be easily personalised to individual experience is the number one way to support those experiencing menopause.
When we talk about menopausal symptoms – it is generally hot flushes, mood swings and brain fog. Pelvic symptoms (both sexual and urinary) are less well known and less commonly discussed but affect over 50% of women and cause significant anxiety and distress.
It is therefore important to be equipped with knowledge on how enter this transitional stage of life without apprehension or fear.
As your body experiences the changes associated with the menopause it can be tricky to know how to navigate this within your life, schedule, and commitments. It is an unfortunate truth that the symptoms of menopause can make it harder to exercise or keep up regular activity in the same way you did before.
But that doesn’t mean all is lost. Listening to your body and adapting your approach is essential in easing symptoms and improving all round wellbeing while experiencing menopause.
Menopause is an essential and unavoidable part of life. Recognise that its symptoms, from hot flashes and pelvic issues to body confidence concerns, weight gain or mobility decline do have an impact on your day to day life. But don’t let this impact consume your ability to get out and enjoy yourself.
Every women experiences menopause differently. There at least 47 symptoms that have been identified as associated with perimenopause and menopause. So if you feel that things have changed in your body, seek support to discuss your symptoms.
There are many things you can do to help manage menopause symptoms before seeking medical or professional support. Being aware of your symptoms and of the different types of therapy and lifestyle combinations available to you is the first step towards a successful and supported menopause experience.
Your régime may look quite different to your friends – but embracing an individual approach without the worry of what’s working for someone else is the optimal way to successfully navigate this period of life.
Every woman’s experience of menopause is different. If you notice changes in your body that concern you or have a negative impact on your wellbeing, it is wise to consult a healthcare professional. Whether a GP, gynaecologist or other healthcare or fitness professional, ensure they understand your symptoms and are supportive of finding a tailored approach that is right for you.
This may include medical recommendations but should also include lifestyle adaptations that can ease your experience of menopause symptoms and mitigate some of the impact they could have on your wellbeing.
Diet, exercise, and mobility are all powerful tools that can be used alongside medical intervention to support people experiencing menopause or perimenopause.
Recognise that every woman’s menopausal experience is unique. Work closely with your GP or clinicians to create a personalised management plan that suits your body’s responses and needs.
HRT can be a viable option for managing menopause symptoms. Don’t let fears based on outdated or ill-interpreted studies deter you. Seek a specialist’s guidance to make an informed decision.
A specialist menopause gynaecologist can help bust the myths around hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and ease any worries on links to breast cancer.
Around the same time, I was also told by my gynaecologist that many of my symptoms could be eased by a change in my diet and exercise program. I had already heard about the relationship between diet, insulin, and hormone function, and so decided to consult Nutritionist, Dr Linia Patel and Strength & Conditioning Coach, Dean Sutton, to help me create a more supportive diet and exercise plan to suit my ‘new normal’.
But I can say with full confidence that these changes made a huge difference to my symptoms. All of the symptoms I had been experiencing eased, and I felt much better in myself. The pain, bloating and heavy periods all but gone, allowing me to enjoy movement and exercise once again.
It is important that any medical management is combined with lifestyle changes to prioritise a holistic health approach.
Diet and exercise can significantly impact your menopausal experience.
We know menopause can affect our skin and tissues, but it also affects muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints too. It’s why many women start to experience aches and pains in their bodies which can really put women off exercising.
This is why it is important to tailor an exercise plan to have a positive impact on osteoporosis and cardio-vascular function – all elements impacted by menopause.
Walking alone may not be sufficient. Customise your exercise regimen to address issues like insulin resistance, stubborn central weight gain, muscle mass, and bone health, all of which can be affected by menopause.
Incorporating Pilates into your fitness routine can be especially beneficial during menopause, as it helps strengthen your core and improve posture, offering additional support to your pelvic floor and overall well-being.
The relationship between diet, insulin, and hormone function is well documented. At Pure Sports Medicine, a collaborative approach pulls on consultation from Nutritionists and Strength & Conditioning coaches to help create a holistic diet and exercise plan to suit your ‘new normal’.
6. Address Pelvic Symptoms:
Don’t suffer in silence. Maintaining a healthy pelvic floor during menopause is crucial for overall well-being. If you experience issues like bladder problems or painful sex, consult a pelvic health physiotherapist.
First, engage in regular pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, to strengthen the muscles that support your bladder and uterus. Staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet rich in fibre can help prevent constipation, which can strain the pelvic floor.
Additionally, managing your body weight through a combination of exercise and proper nutrition can relieve excess pressure on the pelvic region.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to consult a pelvic health physiotherapist who can provide specialised guidance and exercises tailored to your unique needs or recommend devices like the femfit which can help you strengthen your pelvic floor.
Taking proactive steps to care for your pelvic floor can significantly enhance your comfort and quality of life as you navigate menopause.
There is power in making lifestyle changes to see what happens. Keep a diary of your symptoms and see how they are affected and remember that there is a lot that women can do that does not involve medication or supplementation to change their symptoms.
Keep a diary of your menopause symptoms to understand how they are affected by lifestyle changes. This can help you make informed decisions about your health.
If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms and want personalised support, we’re here to help.
Whether it’s through our specialised Women’s Health service, Strength & Conditioning, or Nutritional advice, our team of experts can assist you in managing your menopause journey.
Click the link below to speak to a specialist today.Find out how we can help you manage your menopause symptoms
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