Got Menopause? Walk that Stuff Out!
Like much of the country, Ohio has been stuck in a heat wave for the past few weeks. As one who grew up in the Deep South (born in Florida, raised in Louisiana), I know hot. I don’t like it either. There is nothing enjoyable about the kind of heat that melts mascara off your eye lashes. Waterproof mascara doesn’t help either – trust me on that one.
I thought I had left all that behind when I moved to the Midwest. But, I guess not. We’ve been baking in 100 degree temperatures with high humidity for days on end - miserable? You have no idea.
As a freelance writer who works out of her home, the heat hasn’t made much difference in my daily routine. I just turn down the A/C a couple of degrees, turn on the ceiling fans, draw down the shades, and carry on.
But as a woman in menopause who hasn’t been able to get in her morning walks, it has been pure hell. Not to mention my beloved companions, one very loyal Chocolate Lab and buoyant Jack Russell terrier, haven’t been getting their daily exercise either. Suffice it to say we’ve all been quite unhappy, that is, until yesterday.
The stifling temperatures finally gave way, and I can’t begin to tell you how delighted we all were to put on our ‘walking paws’ and get out the door. It felt wonderful (as it always does) to hear the birds sing, feel the wind against my body, and fall into a walking rhythm sure to guarantee me a few more extra Weight Watcher’s points for the day.
Like gardening, walking soothes my soul and rests my weary mind. It also keeps my family safe and me out of jail, with those nasty mood swings and all. So I guess you could say my morning walks also contribute to the well being of others as well.
I’ve always appreciated the value of physical exercise and the good health that it imparts. But it was an elderly neighbor woman I once knew, who taught me that it is also some of the best medicine for menopause.
“Honey, you’ve just got to walk that stuff out!” She said to me one morning, as we were chatting across the fence which made us good neighbors, and I complained bitterly about my hormonal misery. “You’ve just got to walk that stuff out, and let it go!”
It was simple advice, as all good advice tends to be, all wrapped up in a clean “Vera-Wang-Less-is-More” kind of package. But it has stuck with me throughout the years nonetheless.
I thought about it again when I was walking, chugging up and down the hills, breaking a sweat, breathing deep, listening to the rhythm of my heart, and I found that sweet spot, the Zen moment when the body, the mind, and the soul coalesce into a harmonious synergy, and a peace settles over you.
She was right, “walking that stuff out” works.
It’s cheap too. All it costs you is a little time and some effort. Of course, you’ll have to get your own loyal Chocolate Lab and buoyant Jack Russell to accompany you. Mine aren’t available. I put those two canine broads right up there next to my gardening and walking. They’re good for my soul too.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women’s health and a women’s freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.