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Optimizing Health after Menopause: 12 Tips for Success!

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By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

health after menopause

Think you can't have good health after menopause? Think again! Simply make a few lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of disease, boost energy levels, and minimize signs of aging!

Maintaining optimal health after menopause is crucial to feeling your best after 40, 50, 60, and beyond.

Knowing the best ways to stay healthy can drastically improve your quality of life.

Maximize women's health after menopause by learning more about menopause itself and following a few of the simple tips below!

What causes weight gain after menopause? Find out the answer here!

Menopause FAQs

Below are some common questions about the period of time before, during, and after menopause in women.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when she hasn't had a menstrual period for one year.

It happens because your ovaries stop producing the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

Prior to reaching menopause, you might experience irregular periods and other symptoms associated with fluctuating hormones.

What is the Average Age of Menopause?

Menopause often happens after age 45.

It might occur during your 40 or 50s, as the average age of menopause is 51.

Every woman is different, and symptoms of menopause can vary from person to person.

What are Common Symptoms of Menopause?

Hormone fluctuations associated with menopause can cause the following symptoms:

  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Unplanned weight gain
  • A slowed metabolism
  • Mood changes
  • Problems sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular periods leading up to menopause
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness

Low bone density can also occur after menopause in women because of lower levels of estrogen.

Just because you've reached menopause doesn't mean you have to live with these or other unpleasant symptoms.

Make lifestyle changes or talk with your doctor about possible treatments to reduce menopause symptoms.

What Should I Watch For after Menopause?

Your health and nutritional needs change after menopause.

Some medical problems to watch out for include:

  • Changing moles or other skin lesions
  • Breast cancer lumps
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hormone changes
  • Low calcium and vitamin D levels
  • Other nutritional deficiencies
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Depression

Routine health screenings can help you and your doctor detect chronic diseases and their risk factors before serious health problems arise.

Complete self-breast exams regularly to detect or rule out breast cancer lumps, and call your doctor if you feel one.

Looking for signs you're a healthy woman? Try these 7 health tests you can do at home!

The Importance of Wellness Checkups

Undergoing a women's wellness exam annually is one of the best ways maintain optimal health after menopause and beyond.

Your primary care doctor can review your personal and family medical history, medications, and symptoms you may have.

They also monitor your blood pressure, body weight, pulse, and other vital signs.

They might complete a physical examination, including a pelvic exam or Pap test as needed, and breast exam to screen for signs of illness or disease.

Your provider may suggest blood tests, urine tests, a mammogram, ultrasound, colon cancer screening, a bone density test, or a mental health evaluation to screen for depression.

Treatments your doctor might recommend depends on your risk factors, severity of symptoms, and your preferences.

Examples include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Dietary supplements
  • Prescription medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Supervised weight loss programs
  • Counseling
  • Further diagnostic testing
  • Minor surgical procedures

Make an appointment for a women's wellness checkup every year or more often if your doctor recommends it, and if you experience new or unusual symptoms during or after menopause.

Learn how to get healthier after 40 and STAY healthy!

How to Maintain Health after Menopause

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle after menopause and beyond isn't as difficult as it may seem.

Follow a few simple tips to get started!

Get the Right Balance of Cardio and Resistance Training

Cardiovascular exercise is important to optimize heart health and avoid dreaded weight gain associated with menopause.

Resistance training workouts can keep you tight, toned, and well-sculpted regardless of your age.

Aim to complete at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily.

Lift weights or complete other forms of resistance training exercises that work each major muscle group at least two times weekly.

Muscle groups to focus on include your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glute muscles, abdominal muscles, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

When you're tight on time, consider workouts that combine cardio with resistance training.

Try these top 15 fat-burning exercises for women to get started!

Consider incorporating the following muscle-sculpting, toning exercises into your everyday workout routine:

  • Jump squats
  • Burpees
  • Rope jumping
  • Alternating jumping lunges
  • Walking lunges
  • Box jumps
  • Weighted Russian twists
  • Plank jacks
  • Squat to press
  • Mountain climbers

Mix and match a variety of fat-burning exercises, and change up your workout routine often to optimize muscle-sculpting results.

Learn about the best types of cardio and the science behind cardio for WOMEN!

Focus on Filling Your Plate Properly

Divide up your plate into sections at mealtime, and fill it properly, to achieve and maintain optimal health after menopause.

Divide your plate into fourths.

Fill half of it with non-starchy vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, mushrooms, leafy greens, or asparagus.

Fill the other half of your plate with protein foods (1/4th full) and fiber-rich starches (1/4th full).

Choose tofu, seitan, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, or lean organic meat as your protein sources.

Examples of nutritious starches include sweet potatoes, corn, peas, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, lentils, other legumes, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, and oatmeal.

You might fill 1/4th of your plate with chicken or turkey, 1/4th of your plate with sweet potatoes or quinoa, and the remaining part of your plate with salad greens, green beans, or broccoli.

These 7 principles of nutrition are always true, no matter what your diet consists of. Find out what you should and SHOULDN’T be eating.

Consume Three Servings of Calcium-Rich Foods Daily

Getting plenty of calcium in your diet daily is crucial to optimize bone health after menopause and beyond.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming three servings (3 cups) of dairy foods or plant-based calcium-rich equivalents when consuming 1,600 calories or more per day.

Calcium-rich foods to consider include:

  • Low-fat milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Reduced-fat cheese
  • Plain kefir
  • Soy yogurt
  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Other plant-based milks

Avoid choosing yogurt and kefir loaded with added sugar.

Look at the total sugar vs. added sugar content on nutrition labels of your favorite calcium-rich foods.

Pick plain vs. flavored dairy foods whenever possible.

This video will teach you how to read nutrition labels properly.

Eat Healthy Fats at Each Meal

Replacing animal fat with plant-based, healthy fat can enhance heart health.

Fish oil is an example of healthy fat from a non-plant source.

Dietary fat helps boost satiety, which can reduce cravings for added sugar and other unhealthy foods.

Fat is a crucial macronutrient needed to maintain healthy nails, skin, and hair.

Getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA, can optimize brain health and lower your risk of mental decline associated with aging.

Add plant-based fats to your menu to complete each meal.

Examples include:

  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Other plant-based oils
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Nut butter

Cook with plant-based oils instead of butter when you can, add nut butter to protein smoothies, or top salads with nuts, seeds, avocados, or olives!

Consider taking algae-based omega-3 dietary supplements, or choose fish oil supplements if your doctor gives you the OK.

Choose the best weight loss diet plan for women and start succeeding today!

Try Meal Replacement Shakes

If you're on-the-go often but want to maintain a healthy eating plan and optimal health after menopause, consider incorporating meal replacement shakes into your daily routine.

You can also drink these nutritious shakes before or after workouts to maintain lean muscle mass, recover properly, keep your metabolism high, boost satiety, and maintain a healthy weight.

Choose ready-to-drink protein shakes (without a lot of added sugar) or make your own homemade protein shakes using ingredients you love!

Consider mixing whey, casein, or plant-based protein powder with water or plant-based milk, ice, and bananas or berries.

Add a tiny amount of almond, cashew, or peanut butter if you'd like!

How much protein do you REALLY need? Watch this video to find out!

Consider a Meal Prep Delivery Service

If you're like many busy women over 40, you might not have time to cook every meal at home but realize the importance of limiting fast food and other restaurant foods.

If you're tight on time but desire pre-prepped, healthy meals you can quickly heat up, consider nutritious meal prep delivery services like Snap Kitchen, Daily Harvest, Factor75, or Freshly.

These services bring ready-made meals to right to your doorstep!

You can choose a delivery time that matches your schedule.

This video explains basic nutrition, giving you 4 actionable ways you can eat healthier TODAY!

Increase Cardiovascular Exercise for Weight Loss

If weight loss is your goal, consider increasing minutes of cardiovascular exercise to boost your chance of success.

For example, if you typically complete cardio workouts 20-30 minutes daily, increase to 45-60 minutes per day.

Doing so boosts your calorie expenditure to drop excess weight without drastically cutting calories.

Examples of effective cardiovascular exercises for weight loss include:

  • Walking
  • Stair climbing
  • Rope jumping
  • Jogging
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Elliptical workouts
  • Cycling

Don't forget to lift weights, or use your own bodyweight as resistance, in addition to completing cardiovascular workouts to stay lean.

Try some of these at-home cardio workouts!

Sit Down Less Often

Studies show that the more you sit down, the greater your risk of adverse health problems and pain.

Researchers found that too much sitting can lead to discomfort, fatigue, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, neck and back pain, and other types of chronic pain.

Even if you have a desk job, limit sitting down as much as you can.

Consider a sit-stand desk or take a break to get up and move around every hour or so.

Be active on your lunch break if possible.

If you work from home, get up from sitting down periodically to climb stairs, go for a walk, or do house chores.

Is sitting the new smoking? Learn about the negative effects of sitting and how to reverse them!

Get Outdoors More

Getting outside is often a mood booster, especially if you're doing something active.

Studies show that being in and around nature promotes health and well-being, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves your overall well-being.

Make it a point to get outdoors as much as you can.

Go for a walk, bike ride, play sports outdoors with your kids or grandkids, do yard work, garden, or simply sit outside and read to get your daily dose of vitamin D.

Want a fun way to get outside? Try this backyard family workout!

Take Dietary Supplements for Women Over 40

Taking dietary supplements is crucial to achieving optimal health after menopause, as you might not be getting the essential nutrients your body needs from food alone.

Consider taking some of the following dietary supplements for women over 40:

  • A multivitamin supplement
  • Additional calcium/vitamin D as needed
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fiber as needed
  • Probiotics
  • Protein shakes or bars

Ask your doctor before taking dietary supplements to make sure they're the right match for your personalized needs.

Find out about magnesium supplement benefits as we discuss magnesium for sleep, anxiety, and weight loss.

Set a Regular Routine

Setting a regular routine is important at every age, even after menopause.

It can help you get a better night's sleep, be more productive throughout the day, keep your metabolism high, and optimize physical and mental health.

Consider the following:

  • Set a regular bedtime
  • Wake up about the same time each morning
  • Eat regular meals every few hours
  • Schedule in daily physical activity
  • Drink water regularly and often
  • Weigh yourself daily
  • Schedule time to relax and de-stress
  • Create a daily or weekly to-do list

Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night to maximize energy and physical and mental functioning. Sleep in a cool, dark room and avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

Workouts need routines, too! Learn how to create your own home workout plan for weight loss and toning!

Join an Organized Weight Loss Program for Women

If you have weight to lose and you've struggled to get it off on your own, let the medical experts at the Fit Mother Project help you.

The team offers custom meal plans and menus, along with fat-burning workouts, to help you achieve the weight and figure you desire — and maintain it long term!

Upon joining you receive online health coaching, social support, and motivational support needed to get fit, increase energy, feel better overall, lower your risk of disease, and boost your life expectancy.

Consider Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X), as this program has helped hundreds of thousands of busy moms reach their goal weight and maintain it for life.

To achieve optimal health after menopause, try the Fit Mother Project out for yourself at no cost by choosing a free diet and workout plan.

Doing so is the start of your journey toward a healthier life today!

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Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on health after menopause.

Join Fit Father 30X

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Fit Mother Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Mother Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Mother Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Mother Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
  5. We openly take feedback here on our contact page. We welcome your content suggestions… and even feedback on grammar (we’d like to thing that we’re pretty OK at spelling and “stuff”).
  6. Above all, we are a community of likeminded men and women committed to living healthier. We do not advocate any health advice that we wouldn’t personally implement with our families. Because as far as we’re concerned, you’re our family too.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality.

– The Fit Mother Project Team

 

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