9 Steps To Great Health After Menopause
(BlackDoctor.org) — African American women are living long lives — there’s a good chance you have more than a third of your life ahead of you after menopause. And it’s more important than ever to take an active role in protecting your health post-menopause, especially since some conditions, like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, are more likely to occur during this time.
A drop in levels of estrogen and other hormones during menopause, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and mid-life stress can all add up to an increased risk of disease in women post-menopause. And since menopause is a life transition, it’s an excellent time to take stock of your overall health. Making smart lifestyle decisions can help prevent or delay the onset of many of these problems, including complications due to cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Smoking greatly increases your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Compared with nonsmokers, women who smoke experience menopause about 2 years sooner and have a much greater risk of developing blood clots when taking estrogens. Smokers are urged to quit before starting on hormone therapy. Ask your health care professional about modern tools to help you quit smoking.
Regular exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and may help promote weight loss in women who are overweight or obese. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise.