Midlife or Bust!
Midlife is a time of change. In one sense we have a world of experience behind us. We are generally wiser, can make more informed decisions, and have learned lessons from our past mistakes. Often times we are able to clear out what we don’t want going forward and focus on where we would like to go during the next chapter of our life. We may also discover that our bodies have been silently calling to us for year, asking, or perhaps BEGGING for attention. Now is the time to take care of ourselves!
This is the time to start to recognize and correct imbalances that have been leading to that nagging pain that has been on and off for years. Perhaps you’ve discovered that you leak urine at times, especially when trying to exercise. Perhaps weight loss is not as easy as it once was, making an exercise program more challenge to engage in. Maybe fluctuating hormones have created mood swings which make you feel less in control of your life. Perhaps your sleep cycle is also disrupted.
There are universal principles that are key to keeping yourself healthy and to help move through the midlife transition more smoothly
Breath is the foundation for all movement. People are often surprised to learn that there are certain areas of their body that stay stuck when they are breathing. Our breath plays a key role in ease of movement as well as combating stress before it creates physical tension and pain.
POSTURE – Posture counts for a lot for how well your core and stability muscles function. When you slouch your core cannot activate properly, however the idea isn’t to “stand up straight and pull your shoulders back” (how many people heard this growing up). Rather you want to create LENGTH and EASE throughout the system.
MOVEMENT - activating the right muscles in every day activities will help take the stress of your system, allowing you to feel good in your body
DEVELOPING A REFLECTIVE CORE - Learning to feel the difference between flexed (tight) and extended (lengthened or relaxed) muscles can also be applied to the pelvic floor. There are many strategies to help develop this awareness. A pelvic floor therapist can help you master this skill which is important for optimal function.
STRENTHENING for FUNCTIONAL STABILITY -learn how to activate and strengthening the right muscles to feel your best in your day to day tasks.
STRESS MANAGEMENT - In addition to breath work, meditation/mindfulness, exercise and nutrition, making sure you set good bedtime habits and sleep routines can be essential towards feeling good. Self treating using myofascial principles can also play a key role in reducing stress and improving mindfulness.
GSM - (Genitourinary syndrome of menopause) is a new term to describe the changes that may take place in the urinary system as we get older. This can include vaginal dryness and pain with sex as well as incontinence.
Different types of moisturizers and lubricants can help as well as talking to your doctor about appropriate estrogen creams.
Making sure you are wearing appropriate clothing (think looser and underwear with cotton) and change your clothes, especially tight clothes after sweating, can also help with keeping your urinary system healthy.
Learning how to relax and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles as well as an awareness of your breath patterns can also play a huge role in relieving these symptom such as pain and incontinence.
CONSTIPATION - applying some lifestyle strategies, nutrition as well as therapeutic techniques when needed to help relieve constipation can help with the midlife transition as well.
Midlife can be a time of change but it can also be a time to reassess where you are and where you want to be. A strong, healthy you awaits.