The thought of turning 45 usually conjures up thoughts of menopause, hot flashes, irriitability, depression, low libido and a host of other symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause. Although perimenopause begins when estrogen levels start diminishing, by taking action to help curb symptoms, adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking good care of your body, entering this new phase in your life need not occur with the associated menopausal issues or at least they may be experienced with milder symptoms.
A fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone levels when you enter your 40’s, results in a decrease in metabolism, bone density, muscle mass and libido and an increase in stress. Vaginal dryness, mood swings and depression can also be part of perimenopause and by discussing your issues with your healthcare practitioner, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed to help combat these symptoms and balance your hormones.
Testosterone, which is typically thought to be only a male hormone, is in fact one of the hormones in women that effect estrogen, and which declines during perimenopause. This can result in fatigue, low libido and weight gain. Low testosterone leads to reduced bone density and muscle mass which increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. Besides medical intervention, supplements, exercise, a nutrient-rich healthy diet and sufficient sleep will help maintain adequate levels of testosterone.
Another hormone of concern is cortisol, the stress hormone. It is usually higher in women and it acts as an antagonist to testosterone, leading to a breakdown in muscle and bone tissue. It is also responsible for early aging. Learning to relax through meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques, as well getting enough sleep, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet are excellent ways to cope with stress.
A few additional ways to keep your body healthy are:
Eat a nutritious breakfast daily: – It is important to start your day with a filling, nutritious meal to combat cravings and sugar drops in the morning.
Begin a Strength Training Routine: – Practicing strength exercises helps boost bone mass and muscle tone and plays an important role in maintaining your balance and preventing injuries as you age.
Boost your Calcium and Vitamin B: – This promotes strong bones and teeth.
Eat More Protein – Protein can help improve your mood by boosting the serotonin levels in the brain.
Taking good care of your body is the best defense against aging and boosting your overall health. It is never too late to begin.