How cold water swimming can improve menopause symptoms

4 Research-Backed Tips for Easing Menopause Symptoms

Navigating menopause doesn't have to be a solo journey through uncharted waters. Recent research has unveiled several natural strategies that not only promise some relief but are backed by solid scientific evidence.

Here we'll explore four effective methods to help ease menopause symptoms, ranging from dietary adjustments to engaging in specific types of physical activities. So whether you're battling hot flushes, mood swings, or sleep disturbances, incorporating these on a regular basis could well be your key to a smoother menopausal transition.


1. Cold water swimming

Recent research has highlighted the potential benefits of cold water swimming for alleviating menopausal symptoms. This study conducted by University College London, involving 1,114 women, found that regular cold water swimming could significantly improve symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings, low mood, and hot flushes. Nearly half of the participants reported a reduction in anxiety (46%), and a significant number noticed improvements in low mood (31.1%) and hot flushes (30.3%) as a result of their cold water swims.

With such noticeable improvements, a majority of women (63.3%) swam specifically to relieve their symptoms. One 57-year-old woman stated: “Cold water is phenomenal. It has saved my life. In the water, I can do anything. All symptoms (physical and mental) disappear, and I feel like me at my best.”

It's the physical and mental challenges of cold water that are believed to contribute to these improvements. The shock of cold water may help release endorphins, which are natural pain and stress fighters. Moreover, the activity of swimming itself, combined with being outdoors and part of a community, has well known uplifting effects on mental health.

While cold water swims offer many benefits, it's important to be aware of their risks, including hypothermia, cold water shock, and, importantly, the quality of the water your swimming in. To enjoy the benefits safely, swimming with a companion is always best.

2. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is gaining traction as an effective non-medical approach for managing menopause symptoms. Recent research highlights its success in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flushes and night sweats, as well as helping to reduce stress, low mood, and sleep problems. This therapy focuses on altering negative thought patterns and behaviours that can exacerbate these symptoms, providing a  method for women to gain control over their physical and mental health during menopause. This psychological intervention has been recommended in updated guidelines due to its proven effectiveness and the positive outcomes reported by patients. 

3.   The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has shown promising benefits for women going through menopause. A review of observational studies and randomised trials shows that long-term adherence to this diet can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve bone mineral density (even in women with osteoporosis), and help prevent cognitive decline.

In terms of managing menopause-specific symptoms like hot flushes, this study following approximately 6,000 women over nine years found that those who ate a lot of strawberries, pineapple, and melon, and closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet experienced about a 20% reduction in symptoms.  

Further, this study found that eating a Mediterranean diet, in particular legumes and extra-virgin olive oil, was associated with a lower severity of total menopausal symptoms, including psychological symptoms.

4. Physical activity

Research indicates that engaging in specific types of exercise can significantly ease menopause symptoms. Aerobic activities such as walking, cycling, and swimming have been shown to reduce hot flashes, improve sleep quality, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis, which are of particular concern during menopause.

Strength training was shown to be equally beneficial in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flushes and plays an important role in keeping our bones strong and increasing muscle mass, as well as enhancing metabolic rate, which can prevent the common post-menopausal weight gain.


If you're looking to support your body through the changes, an evidence-based herbal supplement can also be beneficial. The Menopause Co. supplements combine clinically proven ingredients paired with best practices from Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western medicines and are developed to address the most common symptoms of hormonal changes, from mood and energy to sleep and libido.



Discover our range of evidence-based supplements, developed with mind and body nutrients to support your body and your needs before, during, and after this transitionary life stage.


This article has been reviewed by our expert advisory team.

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