How to Navigate Perimenopause and beyond

Perimenopause and menopause are words that we are hearing a lot about in the news these days, yet it can still be a minefield and very confusing for so many of us.

It’s a natural phase of a woman’s life that marks the end of her reproductive years. For many of us though, these phases can bring a range of physical and emotional changes that can be challenging to navigate. Symptoms can start as early as 35 for some women but many women over 40 will often experience symptoms but just not realise that’s what they are.  They can last years and unfortunately can have a massive impact on our lives.

It doesn’t have to be doom and gloom though.

Let’s look at a few things we can do to really ease the passage to this next phase of life and take back a little control and actually feel ‘normal’ again.

  • Educate Yourself about what to expect.  I had no idea just how many symptoms there were and put a lot of mine in the early days down to being in the fitness industry for so long and literally wearing my joints out.  There are many resources available online, in books, and from healthcare providers that can provide valuable information on the symptoms, treatments, and lifestyle changes that can help manage the effects of menopause. Understanding what’s happening in your body can help you feel more in control and better prepared to manage any symptoms that arise.  Only YOU know your body so if in doubt about something ASK.  Don’t be fobbed off.  If you are being told you’re too young, get a second opinion, ask to see someone else.


  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle, this is a biggie.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential during perimenopause, menopause and beyond. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Regular exercise can help manage weight gain, improve mood, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can also help manage symptoms and support overall health.  Whilst I’m a big believer in seeking help make sure you are looking closer to home first.  Are you doing everything you possibly can regarding your own lifestyle to reduce those symptoms?


  • Manage your symptoms.  Perimenopause and menopause can bring a range of symptoms that can be challenging to manage. Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances, joint pain, brain fog, itchy skin, and hair loss (plus many, many more).  It’s essential to work with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that works for you. This may include hormone therapy, herbal supplements, or other medications.  As we said above lifestyle changes like reducing processed foods and sugar, practising relaxation techniques, avoiding triggers like caffeine and spicy foods, and dressing in layers can also help manage symptoms.


  • Stay connected with others, this time of life can be a challenging time emotionally as well as physically, and it’s essential to stay connected with others. This may mean spending time with friends and family, joining a support group, or talking to a mental health professional. It’s essential to prioritise your emotional well-being and seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with mood changes.  Come and join our FREE Facebook group which is designed to help support women just like you.  It’s a safe space to ask questions, have a moan or just feel like you are surrounding yourself with people that actually understand what you might be going through.


  • During this stage of our lives, we are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and also experiencing skin changes like dryness and thinning. It’s essential to take care of your skin by using moisturisers, avoiding harsh skincare products, and protecting your skin from the sun. Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium and vitamin D can also help maintain bone and skin health.  

Yes, this can be a challenging time for women over 40. However, with education, lifestyle changes, symptom management, social support, and self-care, we can have a truly fulfilling life. I get so saddened when I read of some of the horror stories in other groups I belong to where women have been told they can’t take HRT so feel that’s it, they just have to suffer in silence.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  Come and join us or reach out to me personally if you feel you need a little help and support and let’s see how working with me could really help you change your life.

sandra harnett fitness