Staying Healthy After Menopause
The key to staying youthful and active after menopause is good nutrition and regular
Nutrition after menopause
As you age, your nutritional needs change. Before menopause, you should have about
1,000 mg of calcium daily. After menopause, you should have up it to1,200 mg of calcium
Vitamin D is also very important for calcium absorption and bone formation. Vitamin
D can greatly cut your risk of spinal fractures. But, too much calcium or vitamin
D can cause kidney stones, constipation, or abdominal pain, especially if you have
The importance of exercise after menopause
Many women gain weight after menopause. This may be because of declining estrogen
levels. Raising your activity level will help avoid this weight gain. Regular exercise
benefits the heart and bones, helps control weight, and can improve your mood. Women
who are not physically active are more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high
blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Sedentary women may also have from chronic
back pain, insomnia, poor circulation, weak muscles, and depression.
Aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and dancing, help
prevent some of these problems. It also help raise HDL cholesterol levels, the "good"
cholesterol. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and running, as well as moderate
weight training, help increase bone mass. In postmenopausal women, moderate exercise
helps preserve bone mass in the spine and prevents fractures.
Exercise also helps improve mood. Hormones, called endorphins, are released in the
brain. Improved mood lasts for several hours. It also helps the body fight stress.
Always check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program, particularly
if you have been sedentary. Your healthcare provider can recommend the best exercise
program for you.
Sex after menopause
Some women lose interest in sex during and after menopause. The symptoms of menopause,
such as drier genital tissues and lower estrogen levels, may add to less interest
in sex. However, estrogen creams and estrogen pills can restore elasticity and secretions
in the genital area. Personal lubricants may also help make sex more pleasurable.
Women who still have sporadic periods during perimenopause need to continue using
some form of birth control. Check with your healthcare provider about which form of
birth control may be best for you.
Staying healthy after menopause
These tips will help you live a healthy life after menopause. Talk to your healthcare
provider for more information:
If you are thinking about hormone replacement therapy, discuss the risks and benefits
with your healthcare provider first.
Don't smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Exercise regularly. Even moderate exercise, such as walking a half-hour, 3 times a
week is beneficial.
Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced, low-sugar diet.
Control high blood pressure with medicine or lifestyle changes. This will help cut
your risk for heart disease.
Reduce stress in your life through relaxation methods or regular exercise.