Lifestyle Changes to Manage Menopause
You may need to make some lifestyle changes that will help you maintain good health after menopause. Remember that the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis increases as you age. Some easy lifestyle changes may help reduce menopause symptoms and improve overall health.
- If you smoke, quit —Smoking is the number one preventable cause of premature death
- Eat a healthy diet—Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Your diet should be low in saturated and trans fats.
- Exercise regularly—Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. It releases chemicals in your brain, which make you feel better.
- Manage stress—Stress comes from every aspect of life. Learn to relax and find time for yourself. This includes exercise and other pleasurable activities. Some relaxation techniques include meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, yoga, and biofeedback.
- Leafy green vegetables.
- Calcium-rich low-fat dairy foods, like yogurt or milk.
- Calcium-fortified fruits and juices.
- Fortified milk or other low-fat dairy products
- Get on a regular sleep schedule
- Reduce noise, temperature, and light in the bedroom
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bed
- Eat a light dinner and avoid heavy evening meals
- When a hot flash starts, go somewhere that is cool.
- Sleeping in a cool room may keep hot flashes from waking you up during the night.
- Dress in layers that you can take off if you get warm.
- Use sheets and clothing that let your skin breathe.
- Carry a small, battery-operated fan in your briefcase or purse.
- Try having a cold drink like water or juice at the beginning of a hot flash.
- Avoid hot foods like soup or spicy foods.
Calcium and vitamin D for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 26, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2013.
Dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 18, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2013.
Drink to your health at menopause, or not? North American Menopause Societywebsite. Available at: http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/drink-to-your-health-at-menopause-or-not. Accessed April 18, 2013.
Menopause. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause. Updated April 17, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2013.
Staying healthy at menopause and beyond. North American Menopause Societywebsite. Available at: http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/staying-healthy-at-menopause-and-beyond. Accessed April 18, 2013.
1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Borrelli F, Ernst E. Black cohosh ( Cimicifuga racemosa ): a systematic review of adverse events. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;199:455-466.
1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamedKaszkin-Bettag M, Ventskovskiy BM, Solskyy S, et al. Confirmation of the efficacy of ERr 731 in perimenopausal women with menopausal symptoms. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009;15:24-34.
- Reviewer: Kim Carmichael, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 04/29/2014