You can't stop menopause, but you can prepare for its arrival. These strategies can help make your transition to menopause and your postmenopausal years healthy:
- Be prepared for how and why your body will change
- Be informed about health issues after age 50
- Develop a wellness plan that includes regular health screenings, regular exercise and a healthy diet throughout the years ahead
- Avoid smoking, excess weight and excessive alcohol consumption (Moderate drinking for women is defined as one drink per day equaling one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler; one 5-ounce glass of wine; or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.) These measures may serve to improve your cardiovascular health and decrease your risk for osteoporosis.
- To increase your bone strength and prevent fractures as you get older, consider strength-training exercises but speak with your health care professional first; also consider taking dietary calcium and vitamin D, particularly if over 65.
- Learn more about postmenopausal health, be aware of your individual risks for certain diseases and discuss a personal health strategy with your health care professional whether you are 35 or 65
- To improve your cardiovascular health, incorporate the following lifestyle changes: exercise, avoiding smoking, excess weight and limiting salt and alcohol. A balanced diet rich in antioxidant vitamins with fish two to three times a week is recommended
Women today don't have to surrender to old age. Life after menopause can be as healthy, independent and fulfilling as any of the younger stages of a woman's life; many postmenopausal women find their lives more satisfying.
Copyright 2003 National Women's Health Resource Center Inc. (NWHRC)