MENOPAUSE – HEALTH, FITNESS AND NUTRITION TIPS TO ROCK THIS PHASE OF YOUR LIFE! – 2

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Alessia Donato tells you all you want to know about Menopause in her two part series that will even tell you how to ease your transition into this stage of life.

Menopausal Health Coaching Tips

Eating better and improving your exercise, sleep and stress management habits can help you with your menopausal symptoms, and help to reduce your risk for these chronic diseases.

Here are 8 tips to help manage your menopause symptoms. 

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#1- Hydrate

By drinking enough water you are replenishing the fluid lost with hot flashes, night sweats, and exercise. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can sometimes help to reduce the amount we eat. Plus, you’re ensuring that all of your body’s systems work optimally with proper hydration.

Hydration tips:

You can easily sneak in a glass or two first thing in the morning. Have the glass ready on your nightstand the night before so it’s super-simple to grab as soon as you roll (or jump) out of bed.

If you don’t like plain water, feel free to add some fresh or frozen berries or other fruit. You can even try herbal tea.

Keep a large bottle or mug beside you all day. Whether you’re at work or on the go there are so many water bottles and insulated drink containers available.

If night sweats are a concern, try drinking a cool glass of water before bed.

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#2- Eat More veggies with your lean proteins

Diets high in veggies as well as lean proteins are associated with fewer hot flashes.

Plants are full of nutrients and fiber, which many people don’t get enough of. All nutrients like vitamins and minerals are “essential” for a reason – we need enough of all of them to be healthy. Try eating a “rainbow” of different coloured fruits and vegetables to cover the spectrum of nutrients.

Fiber helps to fill you up, and keep you feeling fuller longer. It also helps to stabilize your blood sugars and reduce cravings (which is great during menopause because of the increased risk of weight gain, diabetes and heart disease). Also, did you know that certain fibers actually feed your friendly gut microbes for added digestive (and overall) health?

More veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds can be incorporated into just about every meal and snack along with your proteins and ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition for your needs.

There is one plant in particular I wanted to point out. That is flax.

Flax has been shown to help reduce both hot flashes and the risk of breast cancer. Flax contains a special type of hormone-balancing compound called “lignan.” It’s also a source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Try adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your smoothies or baking. You can also sprinkle it on your breakfast, salad, nut butter, etc.

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#3- Eat High Quality Protein

Protein helps to slightly increase metabolism and give your muscles the amino acids they need to stay strong. It also helps to keep you feeling fuller longer, which is great if hunger and weight gain is a concern. Protein also helps to reduce bone loss that can happen very fast during this time.

Foods with high quality protein include:

  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Particularly for the animal foods, aim for organic, wild, and/or pasture-raised animals if possible.

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#4– Enjoy within limits – 80/20 guide

This is a list of things that many of us enjoy and may be used to, and know they’re not awesome health-promoters. These are often called “empty calories” as they have lots of calories and little to no nutrition. They contribute not just to weight gain, but also to risks of chronic diseases that increase even more as we age.

Try to limit/reduce these in your everyday life (and by drinking more water and eating more plants, you really won’t have as much room for these anyway).

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Processed foods
  • Anything with added salt and/or sugar

If hot flashes are a concern, try removing spicy foods too and see if that helps.

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#5– Exercise

Exercise is a powerful tool for all aspects of health & wellness at all stages in life. At the menopausal stage, some benefits of regular exercise include:

  • Staving off excess weight gain by burning calories and increasing fat-burning muscle mass
  • Healthy weight reduces risk of heart disease & type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced risk of cancer, particularly breast, colon, and endometrial cancers
  • Strengthens bones by slowing bone loss and reducing risk of fractures & osteoporosis
  • Brain & mood boosting. Adults who are physically active have lower risks of mood issues and cognitive decline
  • Improves sleep. Exercising during the day can help you to sleep better at night
  • Stress relief. Exercise can be very helpful for stress management
  • Improved quality of life. Maintaining strength and independence for daily activities, like carrying heavy groceries and reducing risk of falls well into old age starts right now.

Try to move for at least 2.5 hours per week, and do some strength training 2-3x/week.

No marathon training required (unless desired).

There are lots of different ways to exercise:

  • Aerobic exercise increases breathing and heart rate (i.e. brisk walking, dancing, swimming, biking, etc.)
  • Weight training with hand-held weights, resistance bands, or even using your own body weight (i.e. push ups, etc.)
  • Balance & flexibility exercises (i.e. standing on one leg, tai chi, stretching, yoga, etc.)

Whatever you choose, make sure you warm up and cool down safely.

Bonus points for taking some activities outside for fresh air and sunshine.

The best exercise is the one you’ll actually do. So go ahead, and do it. Start where you are because with repeated exercise you will get stronger and be able to do more of it over time.

Need help with your fitness plan? Join the Bodybyless coaching program! Get a tailored nutrition and fitness plan customized to your goals and your ever changing needs in the menopause. Apply by going to alessiadcoaching.com/bodybyless/

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#6- Good Quality Sleep

Some menopausal symptoms can reduce the amount of good quality sleep possible (e.g. night sweats, bathroom trips, etc.). Plus, when we don’t get enough sleep, we sometimes tend to snack more, which can help fuel weight gain.

Sleep is also really good for our brain and body to help maintain our memory, moods, and reduce accidents and falls.

  • Aim for at least 7 hours of good quality sleep per night.
  • To help you get enough good quality sleep, create a daily evening routine that sets the stage and “trains your brain” to fall asleep.
  • Have a daily sleep schedule going to bed at the same time every night, and try to avoid naps during the day
  • Cut out computer screens at least 1 hour before bedtime;
  • Read a book with a low light
  • In fact, dim all of your lights after the sun goes down to promote melatonin production (the brain’s “sleep hormone”)
  • Listen to soothing music
  • If night sweats are a concern, try lowering the thermostat at night to keep your bedroom a bit cooler, and layering your bedding so you can adjust if necessary

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#7– Relieve/Reduce Stress

This time of life is often very stressful for women, and the menopausal changes can cause even more stress.

Perhaps you can try:

  • Deep breathing (breathe very deeply and slowly for several minutes in a comfortable position)
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Gentle exercise like walking in nature, tai chi, and/or yoga
  • Repetitive movement like knitting/crocheting, or colouring
  • Spending time with people and pets you love

Menopausal Health Coaching Tip

#8- Get Support for New Habits

Any health & lifestyle changes can be difficult to do on your own. Sometimes having the support of a family member, friend, or health coach can make all the difference in the world. Try teaming up with somebody else who is on the same healthy lifestyle path as you or even better, hire a coach!

Ideally, to reach your health goals, you want to make permanent lifestyle changes, filled with healthy habits. By committing to this in the long-term, you can have a healthier and longer life.

Accountability is everything. Getting a plan tailored to you and customized to your individuality beats randomly googling for help and getting confused with the conflicting information that’s out there!

Learn more about getting support at the end of this article!

When to See Your Doctor

You should always talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about your health, including if any of your symptoms are particularly bothersome or interfere with everyday life. This is also recommended before you make any major changes to your lifestyle.

You can discuss your proposed lifestyle changes, menopausal symptoms, family and medical history, and personal preferences. A family history of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, or cancer should be discussed with your doctor.

It’s also important to talk to your doctor if, after 12 months without a period, you resume menstruating.

If your current doctor isn’t helpful in this area, you may want to seek out the help of a naturopathic doctor or functional medical doctor that specializes in women’s health. Your doctor can help determine if hormone replacement therapy might be a good option.  Do your research to understand the risks and benefits, and look at bioidentical hormones vs. synthetic.

You now have an arsenal of great ideas to try to stave off those menopause symptoms naturally. 

Remember to:

Hydrate

Eat more whole plant foods

Eat high-quality protein

Limit/reduce some choices

Exercise

Get enough sleep

Relieve Stress

Get support for new habits

See your doctor when necessary, and research options for supplements, herbs or essential oils

If you’re interested in taking the next step in your health journey and would like to instill the help and guidance of a holistic nutritionist and coach to help you lose 20lbs, tone up and build confidence during menopause without fad diets or extreme exercise, Alessia is offering a 25% discount on her Bodybyless weight loss program for all Yogalife readers during the month of November.

To apply head over to alessiadcoaching.com/bodybyless and fill out the application form.

You may have had trouble making changes in the past, but this time it can be different – especially if you have someone to encourage you, support you, and show you what to do step-by-step.

Connect with Alessia

facebook.com/alessiadcoaching/

instagram.com/alessiad_coaching/

Website – www.alessiadcoaching.com

Email alessiadcoaching@gmail.com

References:

medlineplus.gov/menopause.html

www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-menopause

www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-signs-and-symptoms-menopause

www.nia.nih.gov/health/hot-flashes-what-can-i-do

www.nia.nih.gov/health/sleep-problems-and-menopause-what-can-i-do

www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep

www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal

www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menopause-weight-gain/art-20046058?p=1

www.mayoclinic.org/fitness-tips-for-menopause/ART-20044602?p=1

go4life.nia.nih.gov/4-types-exercise

ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/index

www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/

www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause-time-change/what-can-you-do-hot-flashes-and-other-menopausal-symptoms

www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/

www.precisionnutrition.com/incorporating-flax-into-diet

www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-flax

authoritynutrition.com/menopause-weight-gain/

authoritynutrition.com/leptin-101/

www.thepaleomom.com/is-breakfast-really-most-important-meal/

nutritionfacts.org/video/just-the-flax-maam/

ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/index

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20354666?p=1

nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/menopause

nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/menopause-science

www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/menopause/menopause-treatment/alternative-medicine

authoritynutrition.com/lose-weight-in-menopause/

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