This is the crap part about aging. But it’s not just my age that’s causing all of my pain.
I have been working out, trying to get my body back into reasonable shape (or at least away from the circle shape). You’ve heard the old saying “no pain, no gain”? Well, right now it’s all pain; I have yet to see ANY gain.
Stress is a problem too. My stress level is higher now than it’s ever been – – a new job, adjusting to working from home, my daughter is now a teenager, paying for my son’s university, menopausal mood swings – – I am always catching myself shrugging my shoulders right up to my ears. So much so, I have to consciously tell myself to relax.
Sleep has been fitful as well. For the first time in my life, I am waking up more tired than when I went to bed. In a nutshell, I’m a hot mess right now.
And everything hurts!!
I remember years ago when I was experiencing a lot of leg cramping, my chiropractor recommended I take a magnesium supplement. I remember that it helped a lot. Could magnesium help me now?
Magnesium is well known to relax nerves and muscles.
What I didn’t know is that magnesium works with calcium to regulate muscle contraction and release. Calcium helps muscles contract, magnesium helps them release. Both of these actions help build strong muscles and bones.
We are all told (especially women) to make sure we get enough calcium as we get older to strengthen our bones to help stave off osteoporosis. But without magnesium to help balance things out, the extra calcium could cause muscles to cramp and spasm more easily. As people age, excess calcium accumulates in the muscles and, if you’re taking a calcium supplement, you may actually be overloading on calcium.
Magnesium also loosens tight muscles by helping to flush out lactic acid that is produced during strenuous exercise. [note that “strenuous” is a relative term; what may not be strenuous to a professional athlete may certainly be strenuous exercise for a 50+ woman trying to get back in shape] Reducing the lactic acid and the muscle tightness is important to maintain and increase flexibility.
Magnesium it’s sometimes referred to as “the relaxation mineral”. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy and stiff – whether it’s a body part or your mood – could likely be helped with magnesium. Yes, Serotonin, which is known to relax the nervous system and elevate mood, is dependent on Magnesium. So, although it’s not an anti-depressant, Magnesium could help with low mood.
Magnesium brings balance and helps to
control stress hormones.
As with any vitamin or mineral, you can increase your magnesium through diet.
Coffee, colas, salt, sugar and alcohol all help to drain your body of magnesium. Try to limit your intake of these if you can’t cut them out completely.
The following foods are high in magnesium, try to include them as often as you can: Nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, filberts, pecans, walnuts), Kelp, brown rice, figs, dates, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, kelp, wheat bran, tofu, soy beans and garlic.
I’m going to go with a supplement right now to try to alleviate some of my muscle tension which, I am sure, is contributing to my pain and poor sleep. Both of which only exacerbate my stress. Ugh! It’s a vicious circle.
I remember my chiropractor telling me that the best time to take the magnesium is just before bedtime. That makes sense because it is going to relax you. If I couple that with some relaxing breathing exercises or meditation, I am confident that my sleep will be more restful and that would be a huge step in the right direction.
It’s important to note here that I am not a doctor so I am not advising in a medical capacity. I am just telling you what I know about Magnesium and that I have had success with it in the past.
One last thing that is very important to know about Magnesium is that a common side effect is diarrhea. I can tell you this is true so be careful not to take too much. It’s best to start with the low end of the recommended dosage on the bottle to see how your body reacts. And, yes, this time I am advising you.