As much as you keep telling yourself that it just isn’t going to happen, eventually menopause gets the best of all of us. Changes in attitude, appetite, hormones, and appearance are just some of the symptoms of menopause. While most are never going to classify menopause in the same category as say, eating ice cream, there are ways to ease the transition and to feel better about this natural process.

Here are 7 ways that women can not only fight menopause, but improve their health as a whole while undergoing these changes.

combat menopause naturally1. Drink More Water

It’s no secret that most of us aren’t drinking enough water. Caffeine and alcohol are both known to disrupt natural sleep patterns. What most people don’t know is that they also contribute to hot flashes. Limit caffeine to the morning and try not to drinking alcohol late at night before bed time. Water helps you stay hydrated, which alleviates some of the negative symptoms of menopause.

2. Exercise

Exercise is a natural endorphin builder which has been known to ease the mood swings and irritability that often accompany menopause. Aerobic exercise also minimizes hot flashes and reduces stress levels. Who couldn’t use less stress?

3. Write it Down

Keeping a journal of hot flashes allows you to better locate the cause of them. Writing them down as they happen, as well as what happened in the time immediately preceding them (spicy supper, hot room, cold room, stress, etc.) will allow you to pinpoint the cause so that you can minimize that behavior (as much as possible) in the future.

4. Get More Sleep

Restful sleep lowers stress levels as well as allowing your body to feel great and well-rested all day. Try setting an alarm not only to wake up, but also to tell you when to go to bed at night so that you keep a regular schedule. If you just can’t seem to stay on a schedule, maybe your bed is the culprit. While I used to toss and turn on my lumpy college futon, I sleep like a baby on my memory foam mattress.

5. Find a Routine and Stick With It

More often than not, hot flashes and body aches are brought on by changes in your natural routine. Try to eat, sleep and exercise at the same time each day to experience relief from irritating menopause symptoms.

6. Try Yoga

Yoga is a centuries-old technique involving stretching muscles in your body that you might not be using very often. While exercise is great, a limber body – in accordance with the breathing techniques taught at most classes – leads to fewer body aches and physical symptoms derived from menopause.

Yoga has been proven to lower the instance of body aches in people of all ages, and the affects of the routines actually increase in effectiveness as you age.

7. Keep it Alternative

Before going to traditional medicine such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), give alternative medicine a try. Massage, acupuncture and alternative herbal and holistic medicines all have beneficial effects on menopausal women.

Western women aren’t the only women to experience menopause, and techniques from the far East have been shown to have beneficial effects. What isn’t known is whether it’s the medicine or the belief that the medicine is working (the placebo effect) but it certainly can’t hurt to try.

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