Tag Archives: hot flashes

Women’s Wednesday: Exercise as Medicine for Perimenopause

The Fat Chick leads a group of laughing and dancing menopausal and perimenopausal women in a Hot Flash Mob in Manhattan.

Are you perimenopausal?  Many of us have come to think of menopause as something that happens to “older women”.  Many of us don’t believe that we are old enough to be experiencing perimenopausal symptoms.  But denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, ladies.  As my Mom once told me, “I had been talking about ‘those old ladies’ as if it was a group that didn’t include me.  I had kind of a rough day when I realized I needed to start saying ‘we old ladies’!”  But denial aside, this condition can begin long before the moniker of old lady could reasonably apply.  Perimenopause is the segment in your life between when your periods start to change and up to a year after they have ended completely.  This process typically begins in your 40s, but may begin in your thirties.  It typically lasts five to fifteen years.  Some women have significant symptoms and some women have no symptoms at all.

Some typical symptoms of perimenopause include:

  • Vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and simply sweating more.
  • Psychosocial symptoms like anxiety, impatience, poor memory and depression.
  • And physical symptoms like body aches, fatigue, and insomnia.

There is a lot of debate about treatment for menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms.  While some doctors suggest hormone replacement therapy (HRT), there may be significant risks associated with that approach.  Some studies indicate that HRT is effective for treating the vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. However, other studies indicate that HRT may increase risk for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.  And HRT hasn’t proved very effective at coping with psychosocial or physical symptoms like body aches, fatigue, weight gain or insomnia.

But do not despair.  There is significant and growing evidence that regular, moderate exercise can be extremely effective in improving Quality of Life (QOL) and relieving perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms.  Regular fitness activities have been show to increase brain function and offer relief from depression and anxiety.  Exercise can improve overall mood even 24 hours after the original exercise session.  A recent study indicates that women who engaged in moderate physical activity had significantly reduced hot flashes, sweating, weight gain, bloating and issues with intimacy.

Menopause and perimenopause can be a difficult time in a woman’s life, but it doesn’t have to be.  This time can also be a time of great creativity, strength and power.  And, as the women who have participated in The Hot Flash Mob Movement (created with partner Dr. Eve Agee) have learned, it can also be a lot of fun.  And whether you are pre-menopausal, perimenopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal, exercise is a safe, effective, inexpensive and fun way to have a better quality of life.  So ladies, why not gather up some girlfriends, lace up your sneakers and get to it!  You’ll be so glad you did!
Love,

The Fat Chick

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Stuff that Weighs More than Me: A Bicoastal Hot Flash Mob

Well y’all have been hearing about that bi-coastal Hot Flash Mob we did earlier this month and we finally have the video up for your to share in all it’s awesomeness.  But October has just been designated International Menopause Awareness Month so we’re still right on time, right!?

Special thanks go out to my partner Dr. Eve Agee, to my San Francisco dance leader the always fabulous Ragen Chastain and to my other West Coast Dancers Julianne Wotasik and Deb Burgard. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for coming out and being awesome.  And of course, thanks to all my New York City dancers as well.

Also, I wanted to let all you Southern California girls know that we’re going to be doing ANOTHER Hot Flash Mob at Huntington Beach as part of our Take Back The Beach celebrations this Saturday (tomorrow). Click HERE for more info.

As to the weight of the bi-coastal Hot Flash Mob, I had no scale (Yay! or otherwise) at the event and so some back-of-the-envelope calculations are in order. There were collectively quite a lot of us. I think I can safely say that together, we accumulated over one ton of fun.

Conclusion: A bicoastal Hot Flash Mob weighs more than me. (And it’s too much fun to be contained in one place!)

Love,

The Fat Chick

The Hot Flash Mob is Comin’ to Town!

Well we’ve been working feverishly behind the scenes and I’m so excited to reveal our new Hot Flash Mob Movement, a worldwide, synchronized dance flash mob movement held to honor perimenopausal and menopausal women everywhere.  We’ll be kicking things off in the month of September in honor of Menopause Awareness Month.

This movement was the brainchild of  me: (certified fitness professional, Jeanette DePatie AKA The Fat Chick) and menopause expert dear friend Dr. Eve Agee.

Frustrated by the negative and fear-mongering approach to menopause in our society we asked this question:

“What if instead of fearing menopause, we threw a great big party to celebrate it?”

That’s why we dreamed up the notion of The Hot Flash Mob Movement, a series of spontaneous, hot, group dance experiences allowing women from around the world to get together, have a big laugh and shake their collective groove things.  Our first annual Hot Flash Mobs will be starting very soon.  So hop on over to the website to learn all about it.

Love,

The Fat Chick