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Staying healthy after menopause [news]

Being more active and improving your diet after menopause can promote bone health and reduce the risk of cancer. Saying goodbye to a menstrual cycle sounds like cause for celebration. But like everything in life, menopause comes with strings attached: sleep disturbances, hot flushes, mood swings, increased abdominal fat, thinning hair, vaginal dryness and loss of breast fullness. Add to that an increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, urinary incontinence and weight gain. Frankly, that’s not a good advertisement for life post-menstruation. But menopause doesn’t have to be taken sitting down; in fact, getting up and doing things might be the best thing you can do. The hormonal changes associated with menopause, such as decreasing oestrogen levels, make it more likely that excess weight will be stored on the abdomen rather than hips or thighs. Add to that a tendency for menopausal women to exercise less, a natural decline in muscle mass with age, genetic factors and changes in lifestyle as we age, and the end result can be unwanted weight gain around the middle.