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Experiencing a midlife crisis? Exercise can help.

During a midlife crisis, exercise could well be the furthest thing from your mind. Lethargy can kick in and you feel like you're lacking in energy, and if you're battling a bout of depression too then you might feel that hitting the gym seems like too much effort. But research has shown that keeping up a regular exercise routine can be very beneficial in keeping midlife crisis effects at bay.

Even if you've never been a regular exerciser, a study by researchers at the Uppsala University in Sweden found that it is never too late to benefit from the effects of exercise. Those beginning a physical routine in middle age were found to increase their life expectancy by an average 2.3 years longer than those men living a sedentary lifestyle, with the benefit for late starters being on par with quitting smoking.

Not only will an exercise regime reduce the risk of heart disease, but it was also found to reduce stress levels, increase energy levels, and generally boost the positive mood of those taking part in the research programme.

So if you're hitting middle age, whether you have begun to feel the onset of midlife crisis symptoms or not, what are the best types of exercise for you to try?

You may well have noticed that your general stamina and levels of strength are beginning to wane. Recovering from illness and injury can also become a slower process as you get older, so it's important not to overdo it.

The first thing to do, especially if you have never taken regular exercise, or have had a prolonged break from regular exercise, is to consult your physician. They'll be able to check your level of fitness and advise the most suitable level of exercise for you.

Those with a clean bill of health can get to work planning an exercise regime that includes cardio and muscle strength work. Joining a local gym can be very beneficial as gym trainers can work out a suitable fitness plan for you, as well as providing the motivation you might need to continue with your exercise plan. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for the middle aged too as the water provides extra support for your joints and muscles, helping you to attain a high level of fitness without straining yourself and causing injury.

For those who need to take it easier, walking is a simple, low impact, but very effective method of exercise. Set yourself a weekly walking goal to attain. Investing in a pedometer can help you to keep track of your walking progress from day to day. Yoga and tai chi are two further low impact exercise forms that have the added benefit of concentrating and relaxing the mind, which can help you deal with the high levels of stress associated with a midlife crisis.

Setting up some basic exercise equipment at home can make it easier for you to keep active when you're lacking the energy or motivation to head out to the gym or pool. You'll find gym equipment prices are cheaper online, so searching the internet for products is more affordable. We found a selection of sites like Express Gifts who regularly offer discounted exercise equipment as part of their catalogue shopping.