At some point in everyone's life, there comes a moment when you stop, take a step back, and grasp just how old you're getting. Your 20?s are long gone, and perhaps your 30?s are slipping away into memories as well. All of a sudden, you're in your 40?s! How did that happen? It seems like just yesterday you were partying it up in university. Suddenly all kinds of radical changes appear to be in order ? you don't want to let the rest of your life slip away! Yes, this is the dreaded "mid-life crisis" we've all heard so much about.

While it makes for humorous anecdotes and good stand-up comedy, experiencing it isn't as much fun. It's easy to feel like you have to make significant changes to recapture your lost youth. Do you, though? Instead of buying a fancy new car or taking an extreme holiday, you might be able to find the peace you're after simply through exercise.

What does working out have to do with improving how you feel about your life? Believe it or not, but the answer is actually "quite a lot!" Increasing the amount of exercise you do ? plus carefully choosing your activities ? can have a big positive effect on not only your physical fitness but your mental wellness, too. In this article, we'll delve into dealing with the mid-life crisis through conscious efforts at positive change. How do you approach exercise this way? What can you expect to get out of this? Let's find out.

Why start exercising again in the first place?


There is a stereotype about people undergoing a mid-life crisis where they turn into fitness freaks who just can't stop working out. Every fad diet and trendy exercise is on the table. That doesn't have to be the way it is ? in fact; it shouldn't be how you approach this at all. Think about it. What good does it do your body to keep changing the way you try to improve it? The key to fitness in later life is a consistent, thoughtful routine. Just like how a pattern of activity made it easier to stick to your plans when you were younger, the same thing applies here.

Regardless of the activity you choose to focus on; consistency is key. That kind of long term practice is what develops results. So what kind of results can you expect to see? We all know that as we age, risk factors for maladies like heart disease and high blood pressure tick up markedly. Exercise, however, can keep that risk level suppressed. In fact, research has shown that increased activity during mid-life can protect the heart.

By redeveloping your cardiovascular fitness, you're equipping your body with all kinds of tools to fight disease, leading to longer life and an overall improved outlook. Of course, you will feel better when you're up and exercising, too. Spending too much time sitting on the couch could be what triggered your feelings of a crisis in the first place. Getting outdoors, experiencing nature and meeting other people, and exercising all the while means creating opportunities to grow.

That's the sort of progress that can make you feel better about everything! There are real mental health benefitsto exercising as well, however. From fighting mild depression to aiding in alleviating anxiety, turning your mind to physical improvement can do a lot. Plus, you'll sleep better and feel less stressed out during the day ? all good things to consider when you're contending with a mid-life crisis.

Run, swim, bike ? the options are endless

Clearly, facing the facts about how your body is aging doesn't have to be upsetting. Instead, look at it as a chance to embrace and love yourself while exploring what you can accomplish. There are still plenty of options open to you, including all the major fitness activities you may have done in your youth. Choosing the right type of exercise depends partially on how you want to develop your body and protect it later in life.

For example, activities that improve your strength, like weightlifting, aid in building bone density. Meanwhile, aerobic exercise like jogging, biking, and even swimming all contribute to a healthier heart. Nothing is stopping you from pursuing a mixture of both, though. Consider getting a gym membership and sticking with it ? explore the different exercise machines.

Develop a routine that works for you at your desired level of activity. Mix and match these activities on various days. Already you?re formulating a basic idea of how to go about deciding on a plan of attack for your fitness. You may even wish to speak to your doctor to learn about things particularly beneficial to your body. In the end, it comes down to finding the activity you enjoy the most. Do you love exploring your city on top of a bicycle? Then that's what you should do the most! Prefer to do lap after lap in the pool? By all means, dive right in and have fun. Enjoying yourself is crucial.


Using exercise to improve your mental health

Getting older is a process filled with lots of complex emotions. Sometimes, we don't always know how to deal with them. Exercise has proven mental health benefits, though, as we've already discussed. Focusing on the aspects of your life in which you have control can help to stabilize your entire outlook. Exercising all by yourself doesn't have to be all that you do, however.

Getting together with friends or other older individuals to perhaps play some sports is an excellent way to boost your fitness and your mood. Staying engaged can help to keep depression at bayand even sharpen your focus. Of course, you don't have to be out there knocking each other around playing rugby. There's no need to put yourself at unnecessary risk of injury.

Nonetheless, sports like basketball, football, and others all offer vigorous cardio with a fun team atmosphere full of camaraderie. Rather than isolating yourself, you can reconnect with your peers. When you feel disconnected and dissatisfied with your life at its midpoint, this is one of the best remedies.

Remind yourself that it's fun to be around other people, especially when you're all working towards a common goal. Fitness isn't just about improving heart health or fighting disease; it's about taking care of your whole body and mind.

Remember to eat right between all these workouts

using exercise to cope with your mid life crisis diet

You can't knock back beers and devour a pizza every Friday and Saturday night like when you were 25 and continue to feel great. When using exercise to manage your feelings of a mid-life crisis, it's important to remember to feed your body the right nutrients. Older bodies require different minerals and vitamins in different amounts than younger ones; knowing your body is the best way to improve it in this case.

Instead of fatty junk foods, embrace a healthier way of eating ? don't worry, it can still be just as tasty! Choosing mind and heart-healthy foods like fishand cutting back on red meat can reduce your risk for heart disease and allow you to feel better. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is always a smart idea, too. The harder you exercise, the more your body will need to refuel.

That's key to avoiding injury. In addition to dieting right, you may want to ask your doctor if it's time to consider taking a multivitamin. Supplementing your diet with all the crucial vitamins and minerals you need is much easier this way, and ensures you're meeting your body's needs. Everyone's diet will be a little different, but the important thing is to stick with it ? just like you must stick with your exercise.

>Embrace your age and look forward to life

With some careful thought and consideration, navigating your mid-life crisis and taking back the reins of your life is entirely within your grasp. While exercise (and the right diet!) may not seem like a cure-all at first, you may find in time that it opens lots of doors for you. Whether improving your fitness leads you to meet new friends or to have the stamina to take the holiday of your dreams, it's worth the time and effort it takes to improve. Hop on your bike or lace up your running shoes ? the world is still your oyster. All you have to do is step up and remind yourself that you're in control.