My memory isn’t what it used to be…

by August 2, 2021

I noticed my inability to sometimes quickly recall the name of simple objects in my late 40’s, but didn’t think too much about it because I had always been a little bad at remembering names and dates throughout my whole life. Now in my 50’s (at times) I experience “brain fog” and it has become a bit frustrating to not recall the name of a toothbrush or stapler right away, when I know it’s sitting right there on the back of my tongue ready to come out. What feels like minutes is actually only seconds, but that inability to remember quickly was disconcerting until I started to learn a little about my brain and what was going on.

I work hard to strengthen my body with good nutrition and exercise but don’t always think about my brain health and I am starting to learn that it should be an important focus as we get older. Sadly, women see more of a cognitive decline with age than men which includes our ability to think, speak, judge, remember and learn new things.

Why do women have more cognitive issues as we age?

Having difficulties recalling things is often typical of menopause and it is our declining estrogen levels that can affect how our brain functions. Thank goodness, I thought it was just me! Now that’s not to say if you are having cognitive issues you should just chalk it up to the decline of your hormones and that’s that…if you are concerned about your ability to not only recall but make good decisions or recognize things please seek the help of your doctor.

Here’s the other part of our brain health as we age women…sleep disturbance can become a major player from perimenopause onwards and that will also have an influence in how we feel and recall in our day. If you just don’t sleep well you’re probably going to feel grumpy, unfocused, irritable or depressed. Again, we can blame the drop of our hormones for this disruption, but following good sleep habits is super important to help support not only our sleep but our brain health. Find out more about the connection between insomnia and menopause.

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What can we do to improve our brain health?

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My Fit Over 50 is excited to welcome the Alzheimer Society of Durham for a conversation about memory as we age. You will find out information about our adaptable brain, how the brain is impacted by dementia, risk factors, practical ways to promote good brain health and more. This is a free virtual chat and we hope you can join us on Wednesday August 18th at 7pmEST.  Simply CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW to register for your free ticket today!


More information will be available after our virtual chat!

About the author

Cindy is registered acupuncturist, Pilates instructor and holistic nutritionist. She is an educator and health professional, aiming to inspire all women to be their best as we age reaching maximum vitality!

Juicing up your skin – a conversation

by June 17, 2021

On Wednesday June 16th our guest speaker Louise Camilleri from LC Natural Health & Beauty joined us to talk about Juicing and its affect on the health of our skin. It was such a great event I wanted to offer the video for anyone to view, to inspire and encourage everyone to take part in your own health care. Juicing is just one simple thing we can do to support the health of our body as we get older and it can be simple or as complex and nutrition packed as you’d like. Louise offers suggestions for great juices with ingredients you might not normally think to add in!

You can juice for general health & wellness or for the maintenance of good body weight, but don’t think of juicing as a weight loss approach. If you are wanting to lose some weight, take a whole body approach that includes eating a whole foods diet (with some juice added in), exercise, make good lifestyle choices, follow good sleep habits and reduce stress. 

Need some help with your nutrition during Menopause? Contact me here

Here are a couple of quick tips for successful juicing:
  • Make a list before you shop – take a look online to find a recipe or two that you’d like to try and go for it!
  • Prepare all your ingredients – cut, slice, chop and put it in the fridge or freezer for quick access
  • Keep the ingredients low on the glycemic index – the higher the sugar content of a fruit or vegetable the bigger affect it has on our blood sugar
  • Drink your juice at room temperature if possible instead of cold – this will be easier on your digestive system
  • Thicken your juice with 1/2 an avocado, some nuts or seeds and gain valuable omega fatty acids too!

(click on the pic for a free green juice recipe!)


Watch our virtual conversation here

Louise offers her approach to Juicing and Menopause, which involves the 4 ”M”s and great information about choosing a well balanced juice for yourself…
  1. Mindset or mindfulness, which helps you to combat stress. We want to lower Cortisol levels and raise Endorphins!
  2. Movement, which controls stress and helps the body to produce less fat storing hormones. With movement comes better elimination of toxins from the bowel and the pores of the skin!
  3. Meals, which help control calories and assures good nutrition. Juicing also gives the internal body a rest (when you rest you repair) and allows for better digestion.!
  4. Metabolics, the is the stuff that stimulates and moves our metabolism like exercise and supplements. Our metabolism is like a stress barometer and it needs to be taken care of and BALANCED.!

Directions for a well balanced Detoxifying Juice:

Choose a base liquid

You can use 1 to 2 cups of filtered water, raw coconut water, unsweetened almond milk or hemp milk, fresh apple or orange juice, herbal tea, green tea, unsweetened kefir or kombucha

Choose your base ingredients

Add 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruits or veggies, like apple, orange, kiwi, melon, berries, beets, cucumber, pineapple, mango, or peaches

Add some creaminess

Banana, avocado, coconut meat, unsweetened natural yogurts, blanched almonds, or almond butter, walnuts and cauliflower all add richness and creaminess to smoothies

Add some greens

Next add 1 to 2 cups of spinach, romaine, or radish greens; 1 cup kale, bok choy, Swiss chard, collards, beet greens; or 1/4 cup arugula or dandelion greens

Boost the nutrients

Choose one or more of the following: 1 tablespoon of chia, hemp or flax seeds; 1 tablespoon of coconut, flax, or hemp oil; 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of superfood powders like açai, pomegranate, camu, goji, wheatgrass, or broccoli sprouts; 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Spirulina or chlorella; or add 1/4 cup frozen raw broccoli or cauliflower. One of my favs…Hibiscus flower powder

Add some magic

Inspire flavour with spices! Add a pinch to 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne, red pepper flakes, turmeric, or curry powder, or 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or fresh ginger. Or try fresh (not dried) herbs like 1-1/2 teaspoons of rosemary, or 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of parsley, cilantro, basil, or mint. Lift the pungency of earthy root veggies or leafy greens with 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of lemon or lime zest

Blend

Throw all of the ingredients into your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy

Would you like to get some great juicing recipes? Try Louise’s Top Juicing Recipe ebook chocked full of nutritious and delicious juices!

(just click on the pic)


Happy Juicing!

About the authors

Cindy is a registered holistic nutritionist, registered acupuncturist, certified Pilates instructor and health educator. She is the creator of My Fit Over 50, working to empower women before, during and after menopause!

Louise Camilleri, founder, and CEO of LC Natural Health & Beauty has been an Entrepreneur for over 10 years working in her business as a Natural Health Practitioner, Beauty Food Advisor, Skin Care Consultant, Holistic Skin Care Formulator, Natural Perfumer, and Author. Find out more about Louise here.

SUMMER NUTRITION for Whole Body Health

by May 24, 2021

Summer arrives around June 21st and as the atmosphere begins to heat up and the trees continue to fill in it’s important to take care of your body through good nutritious food and lots of outdoor activities. This time of year is full of energy and considered a time of growth and maturation, when the sun shines longer each day and our watery crops become ready to consume. For most of us our eating habits have shifted from slow cooked, warm and heavy meals to lighter, quicker fares. The trees and gardens become lush with colour and the birds converse with their unique songs throughout the day.

Summer from a TCM perspective…
(Traditional Chinese Medicine)

The energy of the summer is very yang in nature, moving up and outwards, which is a great time of year to enjoy, especially those who tend to have a deficiency condition (poor digestion, gets cold easy, often feels tired, weak muscles etc). 

Fire is the element that is associated with summer as is the energy of our heart and small intestine organs. During the height of this season the heart is said to be at its most active, pumping and regulating the blood that carries oxygen and nutrients all over our body, supporting our muscles as we hike, bike, run, swim and play outdoors. 

The flavour associated with summer is bitter and foods that have a little bitter, such as endive, watercress, most lettuces and herbs can be a great addition in small amounts to the diet. Because the summer is so warm, having cooling and watery fruit or vegetables can help keep the fire of the heart under control.  Adding too much heating foods (like hot spices, alcohol, coffee) can add more fuel to the heart fire, so beware and try to avoid if you already have a warm or hot constitution.

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Picture from Staying Healthy with the Seasons, Elson M. Haas, M.D.

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The summer season always brings out the kid in me…the memories of school almost being done for another year and the anticipation of getting another year older (my birthday falls in the summer). It is a great opportunity to try something maybe you have never tried, stretch out your branches, such as hiking on the trails within your city or trying your hand at gardening (or expanding your green thumb). Sit back and observe where you are so that when the fall comes you can start to plan for where you’d like to go. 

As our physical activities kick into high gear, we must all be mindful about our body and nutritional needs. If you are outside sweating and doing fun sports or strenuous tasks around the house, make sure to keep hydrated! My go to when we are sweating is drinking some coconut water – often I mix half of it with my favourite kombucha like the Tonic brands. Also make sure to stretch, especially if you are doing an activity over a long period of time, such as gardening. Below are 3 easy ones you can do.

The hip stretch

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The arms & spine stretch

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The calf stretch

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Here are some Summer do’s to try…

  • Summer is the time to get up and go – walk, bike, swim or enjoy your favourite outdoor activity
  • Enjoy lighter meals that are chocked full of nutrition – but keep the raw meals limited (especially if you’re always cold), slightly steamed is perfect
  • Swimming in the lake is a great way to support your kidney energy (TCM) and exercise your cardiovascular system (especially your heart) – but don’t stay in to long if you get cold and dry off to avoid getting cold after
  • Get to bed early so you can rise with the sun – keep your circadian rhythm in sync with the season
  • Eat locally – support your farmers, butchers, fish mongers and small local grocers – everything will be fresh and seasonal too

GUEST SPEAKER EVENT…

Join Louise and Cindy on Wednesday June 16th, 2021 at 7pm for a fun and informative conversation about Juicing! We’ll talk about how it can support your skin and overall health – especially as we get older. Ask us questions and join us in an interactive demo. To get the link and the ingredient list to join us in the demo contact me at info@myfitover50.ca.

How can summer juicing nourish you during menopause?

Juicing in the summer is a great way to support your body prior to, during and after the menopausal changes. Fresh juices (especially those with beets, spinach and carrots in them) can provide essential nutrients for our body and cells plus valuable moisture, which is super important for us women as we tend to get dryer with age. Please avoid conventional juices in plastic bottles as they can contain extra sugars and additives.

The recommendations I make next are very general in nature and shouldn’t be used to self diagnose what is going on with you…for more personalized help, let’s work together!

Focusing on juices that have a bit of a cooling (not cold) nature is great for someone who is dealing with feeling hot alot, spontaneous sweating, night sweats and hot flashes. 

Cucumbers, watermelon, celery, pears and citrus fruits not only provide that cooling temperature but lots of good water for the bowels and body to use.

Juices can support your small intestines, especially if you just blend your fruit and vegetables and drink it with all the pulp and fibre still in it. Using a product like Vitamix can help you accomplish this. 

Don’t add ice to your drink or take it right from the fridge! Drinking cold beverages can actually leave you feeling cold and put extra pressure on your digestive system to work harder…as it is, digestion often decreases as we age.

For more information join us on June 16th – I will share a few tips for getting the most out of your juices!

So what are your summer plans? If you’d like to share a pic with me to feature on my Instagram or FB page just email it to me with a little info about the picture.

About the author

Cindy loves gardening and growing simple herbs and heirloom tomatoes. When she’s not teaching or writing a blog, you’ll either find her on her bike, swimming or curled up enjoying a book outside under the shade during the summer. 

Mindfullness – how can it support your health?

by April 30, 2021

Mindfulness is loving all the details of our lives, and awareness is the natural thing that happens: life begins to open up, and you realize that you’re always standing at the center of the world.


Pema Chodron

Well it’s been over a year since we shifted from our normal every day to day life to a state of upheaval and change and at times I still struggle with feeling ungrounded and unsteady.  Like so many others, life is made up daily reminders that don’t make me feel warm and fuzzy such as – oh ya gotta grab your mask as soon as you leave your house, keep social distanced, avoid visiting others (let alone hugging others), can’t travel right now and wash your hands a billion times a day all in an effort to stay healthy and avoid passing this crazy virus on to others.  My business has reduced and shifted (like so many others), but this shift has forced me to find different ways to connect and work with people, which I am very grateful for. 

This year I will be exploring another aspect of my own self care – delving into the subject of mindfulness. For years I have been talking about mindful intentions when it came to eating and moving, but I personally haven’t spent the time to explore the spiritual, emotional and mental side of it, until now. Let’s start a conversation about what mindfulness is and how we may be able to tap into the expansive power it can add to our daily lives.

I believe an aspect of Mindfulness lives within our own spirituality, culture or religion, however some of what I will explore in this post will come from Buddhist teachings that have resonated with me over many years. I won’t be talking about this subject based upon my own scholastic knowledge, as I too am on a journey into how mindfulness can support my own mental health, so to help I will be referring to a few of the amazing teachers who tackle mindfulness with grace, compassion and humaness (which I know is not really a word, but you get the gist). 

Buddha
I took this picture on my travels to Hong Kong to see the Big Buddha – 268 steps to get to the top!
First of all, Mindfulness…what does that term even mean?

I don’t know if I can really isolate a specific definition for MINDFULNESS as the term means many things for many people, but it is definitely a mental state of being, a focus of awareness, a presence of what is around us and a cultivated practice that is often followed daily or throughout ones life.

A mindful practice may be cerebral for some and ethereal for others and it may be influenced by someones background and spiritual beliefs. I have listened to buddhist monks, therapists, doctors, scholars and yoga teachers talk about “mindfulness” from slightly differently perspectives, but all share a common ground which is to support the body, mind and spirit, connecting to a deeper level of being.

With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.


Thich Nhat Hanh

Why is mindfulness so important for our health?

There have been so many articles written about the health benefits of mindfulness on our body, mind and spiritual health, that include improved sleep, better ability to deal with stressful situations, better focus etc., but I think the most important benefit is its ability to reduce stress, and we all could use that! Positive psychology describes 23 benefits of having a mindfulness practice and best thing of all is we can tap into it at any time, any where and it’s free to do.

Although mindfulness is a state of being, it takes time to cultivate this practice and doesn’t come easy for everyone. Mindfulness can exist within many aspects of our daily life – how we exercise, eat, breathe, walk and for some pray. If you have never tried creating a mindful practice start simple, begin with one element that resonates with you or tap into many of the resources available on line, within your community, within your church or religion or via a webinar or podcast. Explore what mindfulness can offer you.

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.


Psychology Today

Mindfulness in your toolbox

Now I think more than ever we have all been thrown into a position of discomfort or unsteadiness and that presents an opportunity to take the time to work on our own health and wellness. Use this idea of mindfulness as a tool or an exploration to help support your whole body’s health.

So on my journey into mindfulness, I came across a podcast on Spotify called Practicing Human with Cory Muscara and he has helped me to stop and think every day, even if it’s just for a moment, about how I can cultivate my own practice.  He offers ideas and thoughts (see some of the them below) that stem from his experience living with monks as well as being an instructor of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cory talks about feeling the sensations of our breath rather than thinking about our breath (which is what I talk about in my mindful breathing video below) and he talks about the importance of acknowledging what comes up with our thoughts and trying to go back to feeling the breath again. So if a thought or emotion comes up repetitively, stay with your thought for a while then get back to feeling (not thinking about) the breath.  I think this is the essence of the practice of mindfulness.

Here are a few hints from Cory Muscara, Practicing Human to help support your mindfulness practice:
Take 5

Trace your pointer finger up and down each of your five fingers in the other hand. As you slide up the finger, inhale slowly through the nose, and as you slide down, exhale slowly through the mouth. This takes less than 30 seconds and can help ground and calm you in the present.

RAIN

RAIN is a another acronym: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture. You can use with difficult experiences as they arise. Notice the experience, allow it to be there, explore what it feels like and what the mind is doing in relationship to it (e.g. fighting, resisting, pouting, etc.) and then show yourself compassion, perhaps with a phrase like: “I’m here for you. We got this.”

Presence in Daily Activities

Mindfulness is not just about focusing on your breath. In fact, one could argue that the only reason we would meditate would be to bring more mindfulness in our daily lives. See if you can bring mindfulness to your daily activities — eating, showering, driving, brushing your teeth, etc. These are all opportunities for mindfulness.

To connect to CORY check out his podcast on Spotify PRACTICING HUMAN. (Thanks Cory!)

Mindful breathing – how is this important to our health?

So let’s talk a little about mindfulness and our breath – because in my mind we can’t really connect to one without the other. When we bring mindfulness to our breath we bring intentionality and focus that will help to deepen it. Take a second and close your eyes and slowly, focusing only on your breath, inhale and exhale a few times…take note of what’s going on.

  • Is your mind trailing away to your to do list for the day?
  • Is it harder to breathe in than out?
  • Does your breath get stuck somewhere in your torso?
  • Are your shoulders elevating and your neck feeling tension?
  • How does mindful breathing make you feel?

These are some the questions that may come up as you explore your breath mindfully…here’s the key, stay with those questions and explore the answers as difficult as that may be. In the end you will come out feeling better than you did and if you can’t answer the difficult questions that arise seek the help from a practitioner like a psychotherapist to help you navigate your way to better health.

Here is a video to help you connect to your mindful breath
  • WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST IN YOUR DAY

About the author

Cindy is the owner and creator of My Fit Over 50 and Pilates with Cindy. Much of the information above has come from years of research and her own personal journey towards living a more mindful life.

Arthritis relief, what can you do?

by March 19, 2021

My Fit Over 50 was so excited to host a talk recently with Dr. Shawna Dingman about arthritis, how it can affect women as we age and arthritis relief. Dr. Shawna, chiropractor and owner of Elevate Women’s Health clinic, offered us some great information  and ways to support your health, especially if you have been diagnosed with arthritis. Thank you to everyone who attended our evening presentation with all of the funds being donated to Arthritis Research Canada, if you missed our guest speaker presentation see the video below.

In my professional acupuncture/pilates practice I have worked with many women who were told that they were suffering from Arthritis and there was not much they could do (except maybe taking anti inflammatory drugs) as it was just an inevitable process of aging. After years of training and experience I can tell you there is always something that can be done! As Dr. Shawna noted in her conversation with us, if we take care of ourselves and seek help from practitioners, we can often reduce and sometimes eliminate arthritic joint pain for good.

What is arthritis and how can it affect women as we age?

Arthritis is defined as an acute or chronic inflammation in the joint, according to the Mayo Clinic, and can include swelling or tenderness in one or many joints of the body.  The main symptoms that you may experience are pain, swelling, stiffness, redness and a reduced ability to move the joint well. Yes it is often a diagnosis for the elderly or aging, but arthritis in different forms can affect all ages and genders.


Nutrition and acupuncture can provide arthritis relief. Need help?

There are a number of factors that can lead to the diagnosis of arthritis including genetics, age, weight, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle or poor lifestyle choices. Just because you are diagnosed with it doesn’t mean you can’t do some things to help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with it.

Arthritis doesn’t have a cure, but there are many approaches to treating it depending on which type you might have. Sometimes it affects one area of the body or joint, which is often the case of osteoarthritis or it may affect multiple joints, like the condition of rheumatoid arthritis.

This is an xray picture Dr. Shawna provided us to show us how arthritis can affect our bones/joints – notice the changes in the bones and the lack of gaps between them.

What can you do for arthritis relief?

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to a diagnosis of arthritis and pain can be a great motivator to getting help. Here is an article to help if you have hip joint pain.

Most people need some help, so talk to your health care provider (traditional or western therapist) and ask them for support. If significant damage has been done to your joints there may be very little that can be done to repair them, but that doesn’t mean you should do nothing. Even if you don’t have any joint pain right now, it is vitally important that you do the work to keep your body strong and balanced while you can. There’s not one simple list that is perfect for every body, this is where getting support from a practitioner, such as myself, will help.  Following the list below can be helpful to anyone at any age.

Here are a few easy ways that you can support the health of your joints everyday

**What does clean whole foods mean? KEEP IT SIMPLE/KEEP IT REAL

  1. Your food should come out of the ground and not be processed or packaged in an indistinguishable form.
  2. Try to eat as organic as possible, not only to reduce your exposure to pesticides but to also gain valuable nutrients that are often lost within the soil of conventional crops.
  3. If you eat animal products, reduce the amount you eat (half a palmful at most) and get it from a locally sourced reputable farmer or butcher.
  4. If you eat fish, aim for the oily ones (wild salmon, sardines), again a little can go a long way!


Join our growing community MY FIT OVER 50 – supporting women over 50

The many faces of Arthritis…

According to Arthritis Research Canada, over 6 million Canadians suffer from a form of Arthritis, which can be serious and in some cases even lead to life threatening complications like a heart attack or hip fracture.

There are over 200 conditions associated with Arthritis, but I will only touch upon some of the more common ones many people face daily.

  • Osteoarthritis – a breakdown over time of joint cartilage that protects the bones causing pain, swelling or stiffness.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – an autoimmune disease where the body attacks healthy joint tissue leading to swelling, pain and joint deformities.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis – a chronic inflammatory joint disease associated with psoriasis
  • Gout -is an accumulation of urate crystals inside your joints creating redness, swelling and intense pain.
  • Lupus erythematosus – is an autoimmune disease that can affect your joints and many types of connective tissue creating pain and swelling of the joints.

If you missed it, here is the recording from our chat with Dr. Shawna Dingman.

Arthritis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine

In western medicine, Arthritis is considered a degenerative condition, affecting the joints and damaging cartilage, but because no two people are the same, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners will diagnose a patient’s joint pain based upon what symptoms are occurring within the body as well as around the pain site. Sometimes herbal medicine is used in conjunction with acupuncture to treat not just the arthritis, but the whole body.

Often arthritis is seen as a blockage in the joint (of qi, blood or body fluids) by an external pathogen such as wind, cold and damp. Called bi-syndrome, this blockage can lead to swelling, redness, pain, ache, stiffness, heaviness, limitation of movement or discomfort within the joint. I know it sounds a bit strange and you don’t have to understand what it means, that’s what your TCM practitioner will do, but it’s important to get of sense of your condition so that you can support your own health.

Arthritis relief from a TCM perspective
  • If you have swelling around a joint, reduce/avoid damp inducing foods such dairy, fried/processed meals and excess meat
  • Avoiding spicy food, alcohol and stimulants will reduce the swelling and redness of joints
  • Keep the joints moving! Try doing some Tai Qi or Qi Gong
  • DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE DIAGNOSED! Take care of your body today
  • Book an appointment with your acupuncturist or health practitioner to address your joint pain or discomfort


Book an acupuncture appointment with Cindy

Here is a simple video to work on strengthening the arms and legs, while working on balance. All you need is a band!


About the author and video presenter


Contact Cindy

Cindy Willems is a registered acupuncturist, Pilates instructor specializing on the aging body, holistic nutritionist and professional health educator. She is the owner of Pilates with Cindy and recently created My Fit Over 50 – the virtual health and wellness website dedicated to supporting women’s health over 50!

Follow us on instagram !



Contact Dr. Shawna

Dr. Shawna Dingman is the owner of Elevate Women’s Health Centre in Port Perry, Ontario. It is a chiropractic clinic focused on the care of women and children. She offers gentle, low force chiropractic care as well as advanced genetic testing and hormone testing. She and her husband Craig are raising 3 wonderful children: Jackson, Jenna and Cole. In her spare time, she loves to cottage, work toward her black belt in karate, enjoy coffee with friends, read or catch a good show on Netflix.

Check out her YouTube channel!

Menopause and Hormones…what can you do to help?

by February 26, 2021

Our hormones are impacted by our age, diet, environment and our lifestyle choices.  They support all of our physiological processes, and are produced by highly specialized glands, especially the pituitary gland, found within our endocrine system.  This gland alone is responsible for sending messages to other glands that take care of our reproductive organs, our growth and metabolism.

I am not a western medicine professional, but a health researcher, educator and professional acupuncturist, so the information I present in this blog post is meant to be informative not diagnostic in nature.  Some of what I may talk about is also born from my own personal experience into this next journey of life.

Become a member of My Fit Over 50 today – get info here!

So we know that a change in hormone production can cause unpleasant side affects to our everyday life such as sweaty hot flashes and poor memory, but it also can lead to weight gain, affect the health of our bones and our ability to sleep well.

Let’s talk about our hormones

Estrogen (which is the primary female hormone) is responsible for our growth, reproduction, bone health and maintaining vaginal moisture. For most women estrogen declines as we head into our menopause years, but often irregularly, leaving behind dryness, fatigue, sudden hotflashes and insomnia – the not so fun part of menopause.

Another affect of low estrogen levels is its influence on our normal bone turnover cycle. Our bones are a complex collection of tissue that consist of a matrix of proteins and minerals that give it the flexibility and strength and research has shown that Estrogen is one of the major hormones needed to keep this matrix strong and regenerating. The weakening of our bones (due to the reduction of estrogen) can lead to the condition called Osteoporosis (porous bone).

The decrease in estrogen and progesterone (another reproductive hormone) can lead to what many women call “brain fog” or forgetfulness.  Our brain actually picks up on the fact that these hormones are no longer being made in the same capacity and this can disrupt our body’s ability to then produce the mood regulating chemicals (seratonin & dopamine) that keep us calm and happy.  Ever wonder why you might feel a bit more moody, emotional or depressed as your period starts to disappear? (Traditional Chinese medicine would say that we are blood deficient and blood is not nourishing our brain and our spirit – more to come about that later).

How does sleep get affected by our change in hormones and what can you do to help?

A few months ago I wrote an article about insomnia and its connection to menopause…if you didn’t get a chance to read it check it out here!

bioidentical hormones, what the heck is it?

For those of you who have not gone down this road with your doctor, bioidentical hormones are one answer for many women who struggle with their menopausal symptoms due to a change in hormone production.  Dr. Christiane Northrup talks about bioidentical hormones here.

MENOPAUSE & BEYOND – let’s keep the conversation going!

What hormones are often connected to weight gain as we get older?

Two predominant hormones created by the endocrine system is Cortisol and Insulin and these two hormones are often seen as the bad guys when it comes to weight gain, especially around the waistline.

  • Cortisol is called the “stress”hormone, so it ramps up when we are under stress and is often a contributor to us overeating food that isn’t all that good for us.

According to a Harvard study, Dr. Alice Domar found that reducing our stress levels can help reduce some of these more emotional moments that might come up as we go through menopause and offers some great suggestions that can help to reduce stress during menopause!

  • Insulin deals with sugar in our body, providing us with valuable energy, repairing, healing and supporting our muscles.  Too much of this hormone can lead to sweating, poor concentration, fatigue, anxiety and fogginess. High sugar foods and alcohol can peak our insulin levels. When levels are too high for a long time other glands stop responding to it as it did before.
Julie is doing a great exercise to strengthen her arms and legs using some resistance to keep her body strong!
What steps can you take to help improve your health and wellness and maybe reduce those nagging symptoms?
  • Add resistance exercises to your workouts – aim for 4-5xs/week
  • Work on reducing your exposure to undue stress – try some meditation to help
  • Make sure your meals are well balanced, especially with green leafy vegetables that are chocked full of vitamins and minerals
  • Keep your bedroom cool and wear light clothing to bed (or go without any)
  • Avoid or reduce drinking alcohol, too much coffee and eating spicy food – these all can create heat in the body and exacerbate hot flashes
  • Talk to your doctor or health practitioner about ways to support your body
  • Find the time for your own self care!


Need some help? Let’s chat!

About the author

Cindy is a registered acupuncturist, Pilates instructor and holistic nutritionist. She takes a holistic approach to achieving whole body health, educating others about the importance of self care and seeking help from professional practitioners when needed.

Cindy is not only the creator of My Fit Over 50, but a member of the Menopause and Beyond alumni group.  Taking care of her body, mind and spirit is her top priority!

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