Strong strategy for the peri/menopause


Anna Schuchman (left) and Charlotte Wikler from Ace Lifestyle

With life expectancy higher than ever, women are living well beyond their menopause, so it has never been more important to ensure you’re staying fit, strong and healthy. Some women will sail through symptom-free, while others may experience a wide range of debilitating symptoms that can have a negative effect on their daily life. Some symptoms can be managed with HRT (hormone replacement therapy), but it is vital to look at your lifestyle as a whole to find ways to reduce and manage important factors such as stress and lack of sleep. Focusing on your exercise routine and diet will help you to improve your peri/menopause symptoms and maintain a high quality of life.

Exercise can help manage symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and stiff joints, and help prevent the onset of metabolic diseases such as obesity, coronary heart disease and type two diabetes. It’s also vital for muscle and bone health. From the age of 30, we lose muscle mass by a rate of 3-8 per cent per decade and this happens more rapidly after the age of 60. This loss of muscle can contribute to all sorts of age-related issues and disabilities in older people, as the risk of injury increases and their strength and balance decreases.

Having lower levels of oestrogen increases our risk of osteoporosis (thinning bones). Performing weight-bearing exercises such as weight training, walking and dancing can all help with preventing loss of bone mass.

What if you don’t already exercise?

We recommend taking a holistic approach to exercise, incorporating weight training, cardiovascular training and mobility work such as yoga and Pilates, to keep your muscles strong, bones dense, joints supple and balance in check to minimise risk of falls and injuries.

It is never too late to start exercising. Begin slowly, find something you enjoy, whether it is walking, swimming, a group exercise class or yoga, and then build it up from there.

What role does nutrition play?

A healthy diet can alleviate the symptoms of peri/menopause and can help prevent many chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It is common for women to gain weight over this period in their lives so a balanced diet high in lean protein, (such as chicken, turkey, tuna), fibre, (wholegrains and pulses such as brown rice, beans and lentils), some healthy fats (such as oily fish and avocado) and plenty of fruit and veg will ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.

Drinking plenty of water is always crucial but especially during this phase of life. Not only is adequate water consumption important for the transport of nutrients and oxygen around the body, it also has an important role in regulating body temperature, detoxification, plays a part in food digestion, helps our skin keep its elasticity and so much more. So, make sure you are adequately hydrated throughout the day. We recommend aiming for 2l per day.

There are many companies targeting menopausal women with supplements promising to reduce symptoms, however, there is still not much evidence of their benefits and some may have harmful interactions with other medications, so we recommend discussing them with your doctor or menopause specialist before taking any new supplements.

However, one vitamin we would always recommend is Vitamin D. We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun and in the UK we don’t see much sunlight for around five months of the year. Vitamin D, like calcium, is essential for bone health and as the risk of osteoporosis is higher as oestrogen levels decline taking Vitamin D will help keep bones, teeth and muscles stronger.

And finally, remember that making small but positive lifestyle changes will have a dramatic effect on your long-term health and quality life. So, if you’re going to live longer, you’d better make sure that you will be able to enjoy it!

Anna Schuchman and Charlotte Wikler run aceLIFESTYLE, the health and fitness company that focuses on making positive lifestyle changes to improve your life. They are now affiliates of the British Menopause Society and if you would like further help, support or advice in making these positive changes to your life, get in touch with them:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive