When our bodies shift into menopause mode, we may find ourselves affected by a sweeping fatigue that can leave us feeling demotivated and demoralised. Menopause is brought on by a change in hormones, and as our hormone levels fluctuate, so do our energy levels. Life simply doesn’t stand still when we’re feeling fatigued, so here are five energy-boosting tips to help.
Five Energy Boosting Tips for Menopause
Hydration – Water is important for nearly every part of our body (we are after all 60% water!). It’s essential for many crucial functions, from flushing out waste, to regulating temperature and helping our brains function. Drinking a sufficient amount of water (and eating moisture rich foods) keeps skin and hair looking its best, helps prevent disease and illness, and improves overall health and well-being. The NHS recommends that a good guide for water intake (including all non-caffeinated fluids) is 6-8 250 ml glasses of water per day. Keep an eye out for tell-tale signals of early dehydration such as dark urine. Even mild dehydration means we’re not running optimally and can cause us to feel moody and tired. Drinking plenty of water can directly help with fatigue. Water activates our metabolism, and a boost in metabolism has been associated with a positive impact on energy levels, so keep on sipping!
Exercise – It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing when you’re suffering from fatigue, but research has shown that regular exercise actually helps improve energy levels. Aerobic exercise is great for boosting endorphins, which make us feel more energised and increases oxygen levels in the blood, whilst regular exercise encourages a good night’s sleep (improving both duration & quality) which again helps combat fatigue. If you’re not used to exercising, start slowly and build up gradually. Try walking, cycling, swimming or try out more tailored programmes to support with your lifestyle goals. Exercising has longer term benefits too – being in better physical condition means normal daily tasks are easier and less draining. Diet – Although you may be reaching for the double espresso to perk you up a bit, caffeine actually heightens menopausal symptoms, so you should be looking to reduce your intake of both caffeine and alcohol. Peckish? Then reach for bananas, blueberries and nuts and make sure you include lots of leafy greens in your diet. Portion size is also a key factor, if you eat a large meal just before bedtime, this will sit in your stomach and can make it difficult for you to drop off to sleep. Fuel your body with healthy foods at regular times each day and avoid sugary foods that will give you highs (and lows!). A balanced breakfast is a great way to start the day and try and include starchy carbohydrates within your meal plan to sustain energy levels throughout the day. Relaxation – Carve time out of your day to relax. Stress causes the adrenal glands to release Cortisol which can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It puts our bodies into ‘flight or fight’ mode and although it’s helped keep the human race alive for thousands of years(!), being in a high state of stress for too long is tiring not to mention harmful for our bodies. Good relaxation techniques allow us to feel more energised by rejuvenating body, mind and soul and helps regulate mood too. A deep soak in a hot sage bath, a morning meditation or regular Vinyasa rituals are some of many tried and trusted techniques. Sleep – Many menopause symptoms can interrupt a good night’s sleep leaving us feeling fit for nothing by the time morning comes around. Establish a good sleep routine by going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time with a goal of getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. If you find it hard to drift off, try a hot bath and book before bedtime, avoiding screen time and late meals. There are some great apps and soundtracks that help switch off an overactive mind too. A good night’s sleep will not only reduce fatigue, but it will also reduce many other symptoms of the menopause too.