- A lack of knowledge on what happens at this stage
- A lack of exercise
From my own experience, exercise is not a cure all but it comes pretty close. I'm on the other side of 45 and pretty close to 50. I'm still tickled when folks don't believe my age or somehow think my children should be younger. I'm flattered when I'm told my daughters and I could pass for sisters. BTW - I will enjoy these compliments until they stop coming. I use to try to rebut, or wonder what people think my age would look like, but now I gracefully smile and say thank you.
But there's a segment of women that have let themselves go physically. They have doughy arms, distended bellies and dimpled thighs. They try to convince themselves that they're fine, until they start dealing with the effects of aging combined with menopause. It's rough. But what I know is that if you take care of yourself physically, dealing with female changes aren't so hard and daunting. Infrequently I'll have hot flashes,or other physical changes associated with this phase of life. There was a point when I actually had insomnia. I found that when I increased my exercise the insomnia subsided. None of these things have ever reached the point (for me) where I thought I needed medications or hormones to correct.
So I want to encourage all women to make physical exercise and well-being a regular part of their lives.
- Start by walking, and gradually build up to something more rigorous. I like to run as I can pretty much do it anywhere. Besides the investment of proper sneakers and proper attire, this is something that is low cost. And we all know the benefits of running. It doesn't have to be running; it can be speed-walking, dancing, swimming, table tennis, hiking, horseback riding, weight lifting, cycling, stair-climbing. The main criteria is that it works up a sweat.
- Push yourself, a leisurely stroll is just that, leisurely - you need to put in some effort.
- Watch what you eat; make sure you're getting all your vitamins.
- Drink lots of water.
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables in to what you eat.
- Make small changes over time; Rome was not built in a day.
- Watch your portion sizes
- Connect with other women who have this mindset.
- See your doctor annually.
You've raised children, and as a dear friend of mine says, "Now it's my time." For so long you've put yourself on the back-burner. No more, use this stage of life to start nurturing yourself physically, which hopefully will spread to other areas. It feels good to invest in yourself and its not selfish.
From a spiritual perspective there is nothing wrong with exercise or taking care of our bodies. We are told to take care of our bodies, but not at the expense of our spiritual health.
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 (NLT)
She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. Proverbs 31:17 (NKJV)
Do you exercise on a regular basis? What works for you?
Disclaimer - before attempting any physical exercise program, please consult a health care professional.