Menopause is the cessation of a woman's monthly cycle. Perimenopause is the time right before that. Some women, like my mother for example, have symptoms early. She was 37 years old at the time. Most women begin the process in their late 40s or early 50s.

Commons symptoms include night sweats, insomnia, skin flushing, and heart racing or pounding. Other symptoms may occur such as irregular periods, mood swings, incontenance, joint aches and pain, and forgetfulness. All of these symptoms can play havoc on boxing training.

After one sparring session during my boxing training, I hopped out of the ring and ripped my head gear off. I was fanning myself furiously. "What's wrong?" the coach asked with concern. "Hot flashes," I replied as I hurried to stand in front of the one fan in the gym.

Wear layers. When it gets too warm, items of clothing can be removed. They can be put back on if the temperatures turn cool again. During the winter months, I'm usually wearing a cotton undershirt underneath my T-shirt, and a hoodie over those items. As soon as the workout is over, I put all the layers back on to prevent being chilled. There's no showers at the gym, I'm sweating, and I need to keep warm on the way back to the house.

Since a boxing workout is being done, drink a lot of water. The water helps the body's inner cooling system work to keep the hot flashes down.

There are over-the-counter medications, and some women swear by herbs and some vitamins to keep the furnance from going off. Many of the symptoms are common, but every woman doesn't experience the "change of life" the same way. Do your research and experiment with what may work for you. 

Weight gain is another unpleasant side effect of this condition. It happens even to women who were always careful about watching their weight. Hormonal changes are mostly to blame as well as genetics. It may help to make some changes in your diet, even if eating right was something that was always done. The best advice I've heard is to exercise more and eat less.

One of my bosses tried to tell me that irritability was part of my personality long before the menopause symptoms set in. Guess which finger I had to keep myself from displaying to him.

Nice thing about irritability is that it can be worked out through boxing training. Hit the bags extra hard. Jump rope for longer than you normally do. Run extra laps. But don't take it out on anyone with whom you're sparring!

Menopause is one condition, but arthritis is another.

I heard that writing is good therapy during menopause!

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