Your 50s are the decade of the hormone—specifically, estrogen. Your estrogen level has been declining gradually as menopause gets closer. The average age of menopause for US women is 51, with most women reaching this milestone somewhere between ages 45 and 55. And while menopause signals the end of the menstrual cycle and your reproductive years, less estrogen also means major changes for your body in other ways too. Hot flashes, one of the most common menopausal symptoms, may be making you uncomfortable, and you may notice that your skin is thinner and dryer now.
As you age, you can't help but notice the changes in your body shape and energy level. Your metabolism has been slowing with each passing decade, and your body's lean muscle mass is also gradually turning to fat. It’s important to keep your weight under control because having a waist measurement of greater than 35 inches significantly increases your risk for developing diabetes and heart disease, the number one killer of women in the United States. Your fitness goals should focus on maintaining a healthy weight, supporting strong bones and building muscle to boost that lagging metabolism.
Know Your Options
It is also important to know that every woman experiences menopause in her own way—while some don't seem bothered by symptoms, others may feel miserable and overwhelmed by them. Since each woman's menopausal experience is highly personal, your discussion with us should focus on what treatment option is best for you.