The years just before and after menopause (perimenopause and postmenopause) are an especially important time of your life to treat your body well. If you haven't been, now is the time to start.
- If you smoke, stop smoking to reduce hot flashes and long-term health risks.
- Exercise regularly to promote both physical and emotional health.
- Practice daily meditative breathing exercises. These exercises may reduce hot flashes and emotional symptoms.
- Limit alcohol intake to reduce menopause symptoms and long-term health risks.
- Make healthy eating a priority. Reduce your consumption of simple sugars and caffeine, which can make menopause symptoms worse. You'll not only feel better but may also prevent long-term health problems.
- Pay attention to how the emotional side of menopause is affecting you. Have a support network, and seek help as needed.
If you have symptoms of perimenopause, you may be able to handle them with self-care measures. Practical ways to manage hot flashes include keeping your environment cool, dressing in layers, and managing stress, especially with slow, rhythmic breathing (paced respiration) or relaxation exercises. Measures to improve vaginal dryness and muscle tone include using a vaginal lubricant and doing Kegel exercises regularly.
- Menopause: Managing hot flashes
As the body ages, the risks of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and other long-term health problems naturally increase. Your most powerful preventive and antiaging medicine is a healthy lifestyle.