If you’re going through perimenopause or menopause, your husband might just ask for some alone time (all alone, that is) on Father’s Day! Chances are he has witnessed you tossing, turning and throwing off the bed covers at night. He probably has heard you complain ad nauseam about hot flashes. He likely has been the brunt of your hormonal-induced, yo-yo mood swings. And he may long for your sex life (remember that?) to return to its heyday.
We all know that exercise is good for the heart. For women in the midst of perimenopause and menopause, exercise is more important than ever. If you need a few more reasons to get off the couch and into your workout mode, try these (and your skinny jeans) on for size:
- Exercise will help you sleep better at night.
- Weight-bearing exercises help stave off osteoporosis.
- Exercise can help improve your posture, giving you more confidence.
- Exercise raises your metabolism, which can help shrink your expanding waistline.
- According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, improving your overall mood.
- Yoga has been credited with improving sexual enjoyment, but any kind of exercise increases blood flow and can boost your libido.
While exercise is a must, you also need to allow your body to rest. If you need an excuse to hit the hammock or retire early (from the day, that is, not from your day job), here you go:
- Inadequate rest can adversely affect your mood.
- Lack of sleep/rest can have a boomerang effect, making you overtired – and making it harder to fall asleep at night.
- Meditation can alleviate stress, an unwanted byproduct of perimenopause and menopause.
- If you’re exhausted at the end of the day, it’s unlikely you’ll want to get frisky with hubby. (Notice how we keep coming back to sex? Remember, it’s not all about you!)
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you should follow a healthy diet now more than ever. It does, however, take willpower and determination. Here are a few reminders of what you should – and shouldn’t – be eating:
- According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods.
- Limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage a day. (Yes, you can toast dad on Father’s Day.)
- Avoid super-sized portions. You might want to use a smaller plate, bowl and glass. It’s a mental thing; your plate will look full but will contain less food (and fewer calories).
- When eating out, choose lower-calorie menu options. (Yes, you can go out on the town for Father’s Day.)
- Cook more often at home so you can control exactly what you’re eating. (You can make hubby’s favorite foods… and include healthy options for yourself, too.)
- Watching your diet can help you in the battle of the bulge, keeping your weight in check… and making you feel sexier in the sack. (Yes, we’re back to sex again.)
So this Father’s Day, give him the best gift of all: a more positive, more energetic you. It’s a wonderful way to show him you care enough about him to take care of yourself. He’ll love you for it – at least until your next mood swing!