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5 Things Every Woman Over 50 Knows

Need another reason to celebrate being 50 and fabulous? Here are five of them from Amberen!

  1. Forget the right-of-passage short hairdo of yesteryear—we can wear our hair long and still look great. In fact, women over 50 look younger than ever before. For us, 50 is the new 40…or 35!
  2. Sex is FUN! With personal lubricants helping to put an end to painful intercourse, we’re ready for romance any time. And we’re good at it! Not only have we shed our inhibitions, best of all, we can’t get pregnant!
  3. We can reinvent ourselves. We are confident in our ability to develop new talents, pursue other interests and start another career. Art to zydeco—there’s no limit.
  4. The empty nest? Yeah, not so much. As a matter of fact, now that the kids are out of the house, we can better appreciate the time and opportunities to focus on what we want and do what makes us. After decades of nurturing our children’s dreams, we’re wholeheartedly following our own.
  5. If not now, then when? We’re in our prime mentally, sexually, socially, spiritually and, for some of us, physically. There’s nothing on our bucket list we won’t go after.

 

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5 Ways to Rev Up Your Sex Life

Is there sex after menopause? Absolutely! According to the National Institute of Health, if there’s a will, you’ll find a way. True, your changing body may pose some challenges when it comes to sex, but with problems come solutions. Here are five to try.

Problem: Painful sex

A reality for some 17%-45% of postmenopausal women, painful sex (dyspareunia) is most commonly caused by vaginal thinning and dryness due to lower levels of estrogen. Deal with this early on, otherwise, the fear of painful sex could produce anxiety and problems with arousal. And these problems could lead to less lubrication in the vagina and involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles. Ouch!

Solution: Personal lubricants can help make sex more comfortable and pleasurable, and can be used safely in conjunction with Amberen. Holly DuBrey, RN, of Amberen NurseAid also recommends de-stressing. “It helps lowers symptoms and helps them relax for sex,” she says.

Problem: Low desire

Chalk up your low libido to plummeting estrogen, fatigue, stress and some medications.

Solution: Need help getting in the mood? Try pulling out your yoga mat. According to a small 2009 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, practicing yoga and mindfulness techniques can result in better orgasms and higher levels of arousal and desire.

Problem: Arousal takes a long time

It seems to take forever to achieve an orgasm.

Solution: Menopausal women need more romancing. Start foreplay in the morning if you want good sex that night. Hand holding, pats on the bottom, kissing, massages—keep stoking the fire throughout the day and you’ll be hot later that evening.

Problem: Urinary incontinence

One-quarter of women with urinary incontinence experience leakage during intercourse, which can lead to an inability to relax and enjoy sex.

Solution: Try urinating right before getting romantic. Otherwise, the North American Menopause Institute recommends Kegel exercises to train and strengthen pelvic floor muscles and thus reduce leakage. If these don’t do the trick, consult your doctor to find the option that’s right for you.

Problem: You feel old 

Every time you look in the mirror, you see an old woman looking back at you—gray hair, saggy skin, wrinkles, someone who’s too pooped to do anything. How can you possibly be sexy?

Solution: It may be time to shake things up! Join a gym (and actually work out!), follow a healthy diet and get a good night’s sleep. Experiment with a daring new hairstyle, wardrobe or make-up. Pursue a new hobby. Surround yourself with happy, lively people. Pretty soon, that so-called “old lady” in the mirror will be replaced with sexy you.

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Best Types of Exercises for Women Over 50

It’s no secret that exercise does much more for you than just tone and strengthen muscles. It’s also a natural stress-reliever, dependable mood booster and a possible way to relieve annoying menopause symptoms like mood swings and difficulty to fall asleep.

Even better? You don’t have to completely revamp your lifestyle to reap the rewards, says Marcy Letourneau, LPN, of Amberen NurseAid. Adding some cardio, stretching and straining training exercises to your weekly workout regimen will help. The Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Sports Medicine both recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, and two sessions of strength training exercises a week.

But whether you’re lifting burpees or relaxing into downward dog, be sure you enjoy doing it. Here are a few activities worth considering:

Aerobics

Look for a cardio-heavy activity that uses your large muscle groups and gets your heart pumping. This can mean anything from dancing in your kitchen to taking a water aerobics class to a brisk walk around the neighborhood. In fact, a fast-paced stroll is a favorite of Letourneau’s, since it can be done virtually anywhere, any time.

Stretching

Improve flexibility by routinely stretching muscles. Be sure to spend 5-10 minutes stretching before workouts and cooling down afterwards. If you prefer working out with a group, consider signing up for a Pilates or yoga class.

Strength training

Strengthen muscles and reduce body fat with some basic strength training exercises. Dumbbells, weight machines and resistance bands are all good places to start; gradually increase your resistance as you get stronger.

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How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep Tonight

Ever have one of those nights, when it’s well past midnight, you’re soaking wet from night sweats and bone tired? You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep problems begin with perimenopause (affecting 59% of women) and continue through post-menopause (impacting 61% of women). “A common question we get is about hot flashes, irritability and trouble sleeping,” says Kristin Dutton, Amberen Customer Care Supervisor. “And it all goes hand in hand.”

Sleep disturbances are caused by hormonal imbalance the body is going through, and they may start early in perimenopause. The hypothalamus, a part of the brain which plays a crucial role in regulating hormone production in the body, works overtime in a vain attempt to produce hormones and continues sending erratic signals. A hot flash awakens the brain from sleep and produces a change of body temperature that can cause sleeplessness. As a result, night sweats leave women soaked with sweat, shivering, and unable to fall back asleep.

The good news is, besides taking Amberen to manage sleeplessness and night sweats, there are plenty of tricks you can try to help you score more zzz’s. Check out these suggestions from the National Sleep Foundation:

    • Keep the bedroom at a cool 65 degrees. Use a fan or A/C, and avoid heavy blankets.

 

    • Stick with breathable fabrics, like cotton — it’s the coolest for sheets and pj’s.

 

    • Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it.

 

    • Watch what you eat and drink. Certain things, like alcohol, caffeine, spicy or acidic food, or especially large meals can prevent you from staying asleep and even trigger a hot flash.

 

    • Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, prayer or deep breathing before going to bed.

 

    • Get 30 minutes of sunshine a day. You need melatonin to sleep.

 

    • Breathe in lavender fragrance before going to bed. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure so you can have a more relaxed, restful sleep.

 

    • Do not nap after 3 p.m.

 

    • Keep TV out of the bedroom. If you need to filter out sounds, use a white noise machine, an air purifier or a fan.

 

    • Keep it dark. Cover the blue power lights on all electronics in the room, use room darkening shades and low wattage incandescent bulbs in light fixtures. (Energy-efficient bulbs are not as conducive to sleep.)

 

    • Stop using cell phones, computers and video games at least an hour before going to bed. Research suggests the light emitted by these devices can disturb the circadian rhythm of the body and delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin.

 

    • Finally, next time you wake up in the middle of the night, after 20 minutes of trying to fall asleep, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Lying in bed wide awake only causes you to worry about not sleeping… and that keeps you from sleeping.
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5 Genius Ways to Relieve Stress

Want to find your zen, stat? Try these easy but effective tricks.

Meditate.

Slowing yourself down isn’t easy, but the payoff—a less-stressed, more comfortable you—is well worth the effort. If you have a hard time letting your mind go blank, try listening to soft music. Also try running a bath (hint: use lukewarm water if you have hot flashes). “For extra indulgence, throw in some salts, light a scented candle, crack open a good book, and allow your body to let go”, says Holly DuBrey, RN, of Amberen NurseAid.

“Everybody needs to unwind, but especially so during this time,” she explains. “Through meditation, women can focus on themselves, which helps relieve stress and can help bring down symptoms.”

Clean the house.

A recent study concluded that everyday chores like washing dishes, dusting or vacuuming can help calm your mind and make you feel more positive. The secret is to do the tasks mindfully, meaning you concentrate on every aspect of the job: from the smell of the newly cleaned carpets to the feel of the vacuum handle in your hand to the satisfying crackle when it sucks up dirt. By refocusing your attention on the minutia, you effectively silence whatever stressful chatter is going on in your mind.

Get moving.

When you’re in the throes of a mood swing, the last thing on your mind is exercise — yet that could be just the thing to help ease your discomfort (and maybe even help with achy joints). Marcy Letourneau, LPN, of Amberen NurseAid, is a big fan of adding a few brief but brisk walks to your weekly workout regimen, especially if you’re sitting down most of the day. Stretching—whether on its own or in a yoga or Pilates class—can also help. “You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle, but adding in some mild exercise will help,” she says.

Get in touch with Mother Nature.

When the going gets tough, the tough go outside. Just listening to the sounds of the great outdoors can be enough to help you bounce back from a stressful situation faster. Can’t get away from your desk? Download an app with your favorite nature sounds for a just-as-good-as-the-real-thing experience.

Keep a journal.

Kristin Dutton, Amberen Customer Care Supervisor, regularly suggests menopausal women tracking their symptoms in a journal. Besides the instant gratification such a chart brings, there’s the ability to see precisely whether your symptoms are improving and whether a pattern exists. “Journaling helps you know if you’re moving in the right direction,” she explains. “I recommend charting hot flashes, sleep patterns, night sweats and, if possible, your overall stress level.”
 

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How to Manage Menopause With Your Mind

The next time the hot flashes, night sweats and moodiness of menopause start to get the better of you, b-r-e-a-t-h-e. According to Harvard University’s Benson-Henry Institute, practicing deep breathing, meditation, prayer, yoga or other relaxation techniques can reduce stress and significantly improve overall health. And that translates to menopause, too.

There are plenty of programs to help you achieve zen, from apps like Headspace to the four-minute meditation to ease and prevent menopause symptoms created by the Mayo Clinic Center for Integrative and Complementary Medicine.

But simple stress relievers can work, too. Holly DuBrey, RN, of Amberen Nurse Aid, often recommends carving out 20 minutes a few times a week to sit quietly and reflect. Listen to soft music, if you need help calming down your mind. “Music will take our mind off of stuff,” she says. “That way, you can relax and won’t fret that there are dishes in the sink.”

It also helps if you follow totally doable but powerful healthy mental practices, such as the ones touted by Leslee Kagan, MS, FNP, director of the Menopause and Infertility Programs at Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute. They include filling your mind with positive thoughts, laughing more, making time for yourself, connecting with girlfriends and being mindful of the moment you’re in.

Bottom line is to be proactive, as a proactive mindset leads to actions, and actions lead to purpose, and purpose is life!