Coping with midlife crisis takes time and energy, but this is a necessary part of finding greater satisfaction in life. The symptoms are not physically based: You can maintain an active sex life, keep fit and enjoy yourself as you mature. Below are some tips for middle-aged adults focusing on healthy lifestyles.
Explore, accept and share your feelings; allow yourself to reflect about your life regularly; devote extra time to your partner and rekindle your relationship; set new goals and develop new hobbies; travel; volunteer; devote special time to your children; take care of your mental health (join a group or seek out a therapist if necessary).
Exercise can help you take charge of your health and maintain the level of fitness necessary for an active, independent lifestyle. Many people think that physical decline is an inevitable consequence of aging and that we are bound to slow down and do less. With proper care, this need not be true. Much of the physical frailty attributed to aging is actually the result of inactivity, disease or poor nutrition. But the good news is that many difficulties can be eased or even reversed by improving lifestyle behaviors. One of the major benefits of regular physical activity is protection against coronary heart disease. Physical activity also provides some protection against other chronic diseases such as adult-onset diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, certain cancers, osteoporosis and depression. Research has also proven that exercise can reduce tension and stress. Overall, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.
No matter what your age, a balanced, nutritious diet is essential to good health. Older adults, in particular, need to eat a balanced diet using all the food groups. Eating a variety of foods helps ensure adequate levels of vitamins and minerals. U.S. Dietary Guidelines also recommend that adults reduce their intake of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.
Some adults tend to put on weight as they age. This is generally due to overeating and inactivity. The best way to lose body fat is to eat fewer calories, especially from saturated fats, and to participate in aerobic exercises.
Just an extra 100 calories a day can cause a 10-pound gain over the course of a year, but those extra calories can be burned up by a 20- to 30-minute brisk daily walk.
Balance and agility are important capabilities often taken for granted. Regular exercise can help to maintain or restore them. A well-maintained sense of balance can help make up for the dizziness sometimes caused by vision changes. In addition, well-toned muscles contribute to avoiding the weakness and unsteadiness which can contribute to falls. Thus, it is important to maintain or restore physical agility through exercise which can help avoid the risk of injury from falls and accidents.
Sleep and rest are great rejuvenators. With age, your sleep patterns may change. Be sure to include breaks in your daily exercise program, especially if you sleep fewer than eight hours each night. Exercise can help relieve problems with insomnia too. Mild exercise a few hours during the day can help you get a restful night's sleep.
Allow your mid-life to be a time of creative change. Although it may be painful at first, it can be your greatest opportunity for having the life you want or gaining a sense of peace.
Mid-Life. Last reviewed 01/15/2010
- Death and the Mid-life Crisis
- Psychological Types (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 6)
- MBTI Manual (A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator)
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- National Institute of Mental Health
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- Stress, coping, and health at midlife: a developmental perspective