What is Perimenopause?
First and foremost, it's important to understand what perimenopause is, as when I was going through it I had no clue what it was!. According to research conducted by the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), perimenopause typically starts in a woman's 40s but can begin as early as her mid-30s. It marks the transition from reproductive to non-reproductive years and is characterized by hormonal fluctuations. These hormonal changes can wreak havoc on your body, leading to a range of symptoms that can disrupt your daily life. For me it was a roller coaster of emotions and hot flashes coupled with sleep issues.
One of the most common and bothersome symptoms of perimenopause is hot flashes. A study published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society, found that regular physical exercise can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Engaging in activities like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming for at least 30 minutes a day can help regulate your hormones and keep hot flashes at bay.
Another symptom is mood swings. A study conducted by the University of Melbourne discovered that mindfulness meditation can be a powerful tool for managing emotional fluctuations during perimenopause. By practicing mindfulness, you can develop a greater awareness of your emotions and learn to respond to them in a more balanced way. Consider incorporating meditation into your daily routine to find inner calm and improve your overall well-being.
Sleep disturbances are also common during perimenopause, making it essential to prioritize quality sleep. I personally found that maintaining a consistent sleep schedule really helped me improve my sleep issues. Also, leaving my cell phone outside of my bedroom really helped me not to get distracted and just fall asleep right away. I also found that reading acted as a sleeping aid for me. As soon as I started reading I would doze off.
Finally, perimenopause can sometimes lead to memory lapses and cognitive difficulties. In a study published in the North American Menopause Society, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, such as jogging or dancing, can enhance cognitive function and memory in menopausal women. Physical activity boosts blood flow to the brain, stimulates the growth of new neurons, and improves overall brain health. One of the reasons why I started exercising this late in life is because my doctor kept insisting that my symptoms would improve and I would feel overall much better exercising. I started doing it 3 times a week, then 4, and now I am up to 5 to 6 days a week and love it!. If you would have told me 20 years ago, that I would be going to a gym 5 to 6 times a week, I would have called you crazy!. But let me tell you, I feel stronger, healthier and as cleared headed as ever!
There’s no doubt that perimenopause can be (as it was for me) a challenging phase in a woman's life, but armed with the right strategies, you can minimize its impact on your well-being.
Regular physical exercise, mindfulness meditation, prioritizing sleep, and engaging in aerobic activities are just a few of the ways supported by scientific studies to help ease perimenopause symptoms. Remember, you're not alone in this journey, and with a little self-care and perseverance, you can navigate through this transitional period with confidence and hopefully less severe symptoms.
Note: Please consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary supplement or making changes to your existing routine, especially if you have specific medical conditions or concerns.
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