Perimenopause is the transitional phase before a woman enters menopause. This phase of life can start has early has the late 30s and into your 40s.
During perimenopause progesterone and oestrogen production starts to decline, which are the key hormones for women.
Due to these hormones becoming unbalanced woman may start to experience physical and emotional changes like:
- Hot flushes & night sweats
- Breast tenderness
- Worsened PMS
- Low libido
- Irregular periods, shortened, heavier or more painful
- Vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex
- Mood swings, anxiety, depression
- Achy, stiff joints
- Restlessness legs
- Trouble sleeping
- Forgetfulness, brain fog
- Dry, itchy skin
- Weight gain especially round the mid-section
- Headaches or migraines
These are the most common but the list can be extensive.
The average length of perimenopause is around four years. Once there has been 12 months with no period its no longer classed has the perimenopause.
No two women will experience the same symptoms, it can affect women differently. With 1 in 10 women staying in this stage for up to 10 or more years.
If you feel you may be in this phase of life its important to go to the doctors for a diagnosis. A blood test is generally advised to check hormone levels. Due to the fluctuations and changes with hormones you may find multi blood tests are done at different times so results can be compared.
The doctor will advise weather medication is the way forward for you, this is NOT something we can do has personal trainers but what we can do is tell you the benefits of regular exercise and good nutrition when managing the signs, symptoms and changes within the body.
Benefits of regular Exercise
Strength training will:
- Maintain good bone density to prevent and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Keep joints strong and healthy to reduce and prevent aches and pains
- Maintain muscle mass which will aid a good efficient metabolism which will help maintain a healthy body weight or aid weight loss.
- Will help improve body confidence and self-image
- Improve mental health like depression, anxiety and low moods
Aim for at least 2 resistance training session a week. This can include machines, dumbbells, kettlebells, bands and even your body weight.
Good Nutrition Tips
Eat nutrient rich foods like protein, omega 3s, fibre and at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Limit refined carbs and sugars. Perimenopause can cause insulin resistance which means our bodies are not has efficient at using carbs which then can trigger the hot flushes, nights sweats and cause bloating and weight gain.
Limit caffeine and alcohol. These can worsen the hot flushes and night sweats.
Be mindful when eating and portion control your meals and snacks
Keep a food dairy and note how different foods can make you feel
Always plan ahead to prevent yourself reaching for the quick fix that can trigger and worsen symptoms of perimenopause
Other things to consider
Make sleep a priority. Aim for a minimum of 7 hours a night.
Manage your stress. Meditation, breath work, read a book, listen to music or walking are all good for managing those stress levels.
Increase your daily movement aiming for an average of 8-10k steps a day.
By taking all the above into consideration, making small changes that you can adhere to can make a real difference to how you respond to the changes you are going through.
It’s a natural phase of life and can’t be avoided. It’s important to take control of your health so you can thrive through and not just survive.
If you need any help with your exercise routine, nutrition and daily habits get in touch and we can help.