Ask The Expert
The age at which you experience Menopause varies for every woman. It typically starts in your late 40s or early 50s. Usually during this phase, your periods become irregular, sometimes with heavy or light flow. In the perimenopause stage (before actual menopause), your body is beginning the transition into menopause where production of hormones from your ovaries is beginning to decline. During this stage, you may experience pain and notice changes in your body, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It is always advisable to visit your gynaecologist or physician for consultation.
1. What are the symptoms of Menopause?
Hot flashes, night sweats, and difficulty in sleeping are common symptoms during this time.
You may experience extreme mood swings or catch yourself being absent minded or forgetful. This could be due to hormonal changes during menopause. If you have had anxiety or depression in the past, these symptoms may worsen during menopause.
You may also start to notice there are changes in your physical appearance. Your hair and skin start to appear dull. Most women gain weight, with your body feeling more fat and less muscle in general. You may also start to feel more stiffness in their joints. To reduce such experiences, it is important to stay active, working harder to maintain your strength and stay in shape.
2) What are hot flashes and how can we reduce it?
The usual symptoms of Menopause include hot flashes, weight gain, or vaginal dryness. Hot flashes are commonly experienced in this stage. During hot flashes, your body temperature rises and there is a frequent rush of heat, which could lead to sweating, heart palpitations, and bouts of dizziness. The experience of hot flashes can be reduced by reducing the consumption of alcohol or caffeine; avoiding spicy food, and reducing (try focusing on the good things)
These are a few ways to you can cope with hot flashes:
1. Use a fan where possible to cool your body. Carry a hand-fan when traveling out.
2. Perform pranayam. It helps you cool your body down naturally.
3. Eat foods with lots of calcium, such as dairy products or dark leafy greens.
4. Exercise regularly and include weight training in your exercise routine.
3. How can I avoid weight gain during menopause?
You can avoid gaining weight by: Reducing carbs and adding more fibre in your diet. Working out will help tighten your muscle, build your strength and improve body composure. Getting adequate and good sleep will keep your mentally fit and improve your mood.
Exercise produces endorphins- the ‘feel good’ hormone, which acts as a stress buster and makes you feel happy and satisfied. It does not matter if it is a light workout or exercise, any form of movement is good. Even walking, slowly moving their arms and joints of the body helps. The key is to find a form of exercise that you love, that does not feel like a task or a burden.
4. How can physical activity help older women?
Regular physical activity helps improve mental and physical health. This will help you maintain your independence as you age. Below, I have stated the five main benefits of exercise for seniors and aging citizens:
Decreased Risk of Falls:
It takes much longer to recover from any falls, hence anything that helps avoid them in the first place is extremely important. Senior citizens or older folks are at a higher risk of falls and fractures. Exercise improves your strength and flexibility. As your flexibility improves it helps improve your balance and coordination.
Improved Mental Health and Cognitive Functioning:
The ‘Mental health’ benefits of exercise for senior citizens are nearly endless. Exercise produces endorphins- the “feel good” hormone, which acts as a stress buster and makes you feel happy and satisfied. Exercise has been known to improve sleep and the quality of sleep, which is especially important for older adults who often suffer from insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns. Countless studies suggest that regular physical activities lower the risk of dementia for physically active Senior citizens, regardless of when you begin a routine.
It is important to know that maintaining regular physical activity can help prevent many common diseases. Such as diabetes, heart attacks, obesity, etc. Exercise helps improve your overall immunity which is important for senior citizens as their immune systems are often compromised. It does not matter if it is a light workout, any form of movement is good. Even walking, slow movement the arms and joints of the body is an exercise. It is a powerful tool for precautionary and preventable disease management.
Staying socially connected with society is a huge plus for senior citizens. Whether you join a walking group, a music class, or be a part of a fitness class, even visiting a gardening club can be one fun social event. To have someone to share their lives with, to feel familiar and equal is what makes them look forward to in life. Maintaining good social communication is very crucial for their wellbeing. It is important for aging adults to feel loved and to give love too. It is a sense of purpose and pride, it helps them to avoid the feelings of loneliness or depression. The key is to find a form of exercise that one loves!