If you’re a woman over (or close to) 40, you might have started to notice some changes recently….

Maybe your sleep is not as good as it once was… or you’re feeling more anxious… or you’re forgetting things… or your waistline is growing (even though you haven’t changed a thing with your food or exercise)… or your menstrual cycle is shorter – or longer – or heavier….Don’t worry, you’re not crazy or lazy ? – it’s probably just perimenopause ????

And if you’re thinking – but I’m far too young for that! – you should know this: the average age of menopause is 51-52. Perimenopause can start 7-10 years before menopause…

So if you’re in your early 40s (or even your late 30s), there’s a good chance you’re in perimenopause already.

It can be a relief to know that you don’t have some rare disease (though of course if you are concerned about unusual symptoms you should definitely consult your doctor to rule out anything sinister)!

But, you might be thinking, that’s great but what can I DO about all these weird and (sometimes not so) wonderful symptoms?!

Of course, every woman’s experience is different, but there are some general guidelines that can make the peri to post-menopause journey easier to bear. In fact (don’t hate us for saying this!), this phase of your life can even be an opportunity to make some empowering changes to your health and lifestyle that you may not have had the reason or motivation to make in the past.

See below for our top 5 tips for navigating perimenopause:

  1. Nutrition: protein protein protein (and fibre ?). As estrogen declines so does our rate of protein synthesis, which makes it harder for women to build and repair muscle – therefore we need to eat more protein (and lift weights) to have the same effect (and most women aren’t eating enough protein to begin with!). 
  2. Training: lift weights. As heavy as you can manage (with good form). Do this consistently and you’ll get stronger as you age.
  3. Movement: walking and incidental exercise are underrated ways to improve your health and manage your weight. Make them a priority. High-intensity training can also be very effective, IF done the right way.
  4. + 5: Sleep and stress: If your stress is high it’ll affect your sleep and if your sleep is crap it’ll increase your stress. Both will mess with your hormones (especially cortisol, insulin and your hunger hormones). Do whatever you can to improve them.