When I turned 52 years old, I started to suffer the symptoms of menopause.
- Hot flashes, trouble sleeping, increased anxiety and sore muscles and joints became a regular part of everyday life.
I did some research into it and learned that menopause is caused by a decrease of estrogen levels. This decline increases the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. There are medications that offer some relief but they include harmful long-term side-effects. I wasn’t willing to take that risk and for quite a while, I suffered with no hope of relief. I then learned that exercise can offer an effective treatment. I needed to tailor an exercise program to improve joint, heart and bone health. The more the body moves, the better my mobility and joint health. To optimize the performance of joints and muscles, I spend a lot of time on stretching and flexibility. I do everything from circling ankles and hands to rolling my shoulders. I move my head back and forth to work my neck, stretch and clench my fingers and complete a lot of knee bends. I make sure to get my body nice and warm before I engage in twenty to thirty minutes of cardio activity. I go for runs and bike rides, use the stairmaster, swim laps and sometimes jump rope. For bone health and the concerns of osteoporosis, I focus on my hips, wrists and spine. I use free weights and resistance bands and complete a lot of lungest, squats, press ups, pushups and tricep dips. I am careful not to overload myself with too much weight but instead increase repetition and sets. By getting fit and strengthening my body, I’ve had some success with minimizing the symptoms of menopause.