Feeling constantly tired, aching more and slow? If you are in your forties, it could all be due to perimenopause and you CAN do things to improve how you feel and perform
Perimenopause is the chapter in all women’s lives where production of oestrogen begins to fall, creating imbalance with progesterone and testosterone. Usually beginning in your forties, it can last for up to ten years before you hit the menopause. Menopause is the term given to the one day after you have not had a bleed for 12 months.
If it was all just a case of hormones, we’d be fine. But after an adult life of menstruating, most of us know that our hormones impact us physiologically and emotionally in many ways.
Here’s how to pinpoint whether your hormones are the culprit in your training and emotional woes. And what you can do.
Research shows that feelings of utter exhaustion are one of the most commonly reported symptoms of perimenopause. Fluctuating hormones can cause sleeplessness, combined with the fact that our testosterone levels, one of the main hormones responsible for our energy, libido and get and up and go also begin to decline.
Plus, many of you may experience hot flushes and night sweats , all which adds to not being able to sleep properly.
Injured or aching all the time?
Oestrogen helps protect against muscle damage and so it’s common to find that it takes much longer to recover after a hard training session.
More importantly, women begin to lose muscle mass after the age of 30 and this accelerates during perimenopause, contributing to a greater risk of injury and loss of power and speed when running or cycling.
Lost your mojo?
Where you once found running would lift your mood, you may be experiencing weeks of low mood or depression. Combined with irritability and just can’t be bothered-itis!
Don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s your hormones! Studies show that there is a relationship between the decline in ovarian hormones and your brain’s pleasure centre. This part of the brain is responsible for processing and reinforcing reward messages, feelings of pleasure and motivation for physical activity.
There are of course many other symptoms of the perimenopause in addition to these. But you don’t need to feel hopeless or helpless. Recent research has proved that the lifestyle changes you can make to HOW you workout, recover and eat can help alleviate these symptoms.
What can you do?
- Sign up for news of our 90 Day Midlife Athlete Programme or our introduction programme of 30 Days Perimenopause Health and Performance to find out more.
- Visit your GP or book a private appointment with a hormone expert. A GP may prescribe HRT, while a private consultant will often do a series of blood tests to provide a more tailored approach.
- Dial in your nutrition; Lower levels of oestrogen can affect your body’s sensitivity to foods such as gluten and lactose. Check out our Active Women’s Gut Health Reboot Programme.
Perimenopausal runners and triathletes are proving that you can still progress and produce amazing performances. But understanding how to adapt your training and nutrition is key to learning how to ride the hormonal roller coaster and come out stronger and better adapted to training.