Menopause is thought of as just one of those things every woman has to go through, including its less-than-comfortable symptoms. But studies show that women can control just how bad menopausal symptoms are. It all depends on…
What you eat. Want to lower your incidence of hot flashes and night sweats? Avoid foods with refined sugar and high fats (like candy, cake or other sugary snacks). In one Australian study of 6,000 women, these foods correlated with a higher likelihood of hot flashes and night sweats. On the flip side, women whose diet was high in fruit and fish reported lower incidences of these symptoms.
What you drink. The Harvard Women’s Health Study revealed something surprising: Women who drink alcohol—just one drink a day—are less likely to gain weight in mid-life than those who don’t drink at all. (One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.) Red wine was found to be particularly protective. According to the researchers, this might be because women metabolize alcohol in a way that makes it less likely to result in increased fat.
How you move. Weight gain seems to be a given of menopause—at the very least, menopause makes it tough to shed pounds. That’s why exercise is essential. In a Kaiser Permanente study of women who gained weight during menopause, those who exercised the most gained the least amount of weight.
What you weigh. In one study, hot flashes and night sweats were 1.5 times less likely to occur in women who lost 10 percent of their body weight during the course of one year.
How you breathe. Heavy, deep “paced” breathing has been shown to reduce menopausal symptoms by half, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic. Try this: Six slow, very deep and full breaths six times a minute for 15 minutes twice a day.