You may have dreaded your 30th birthday, surprised to find it’s been pretty smooth sailing since. But, there are areas of your life you need to be especially conscious of in your 30’s to ensure you stay in good health.
Don’t ignore bad habits that could cause long-term problems to your health. Here are 9 lifestyle changes you can implement to your daily routine to be a healthier version of you in your 30s:
1. A healthy diet
In your 30s, it’s easy to top a long workday off with a nice meal out with a few friends or loved ones. Before you know it, you end up chowing down on heavy foods and washing them down with a few beers or glasses of wine.
When you’re in your 30s, what you put in your body matters more than ever. It’s important to really examine what you are eating, so you can plan for the long term. This also means meal planning. Not just work lunches, but also taking into consideration what you will eat after work, especially if you end up working late. Chances are you can afford to eat out more than you could in your 20’s, but it’s sadly not a time in your life to ignore your caloric intake and completely ignore what you’re putting in your body.
2. Stay hydrated
If you consider coffee one of your best friends or if you are in the habit of reaching for caffeine throughout the day, you may be dehydrating your body. Or maybe you remember to drink water when the water cooler is close by, but opt for a cocktail after work and forget about H2O all together. Because your brain is made up of approximately 75 percent water, the lack of water can affect your energy levels, focus and memory. Make sure you limit your alcohol intake, increase your water intake and stay hydrated with at least eight glasses of water each day.
3. Go out less
When you’re in your 30s you’re usually juggling a hectic work life, home life, social life and financial stress. Keeping on top of so many crucial things can wage war on your stress level. Try staying home more often to manage your stress and anxiety – it will likely help you save money too — a bonus. Staying home is more actually good for you. It will give your body the energy it needs to rebuild, replenish and recover from stress and move forward another day.
When you are in your 30s opportunities to learn start to disappear unless you seek them out. Continuing your education is up to you. The lack of consistent learning environments makes it harder for you to keep a sharp mind. Once a month, pull out a book and start reading. Reading requires you to use several different regions of your brain to work together. This helps you keep your cognitive skills sharp. Plus, it gives you another thing to do when you are staying home.
Exercising may be the hardest change to implement. Getting rid of that beer belly may seem impossible, but try to find time to stay in shape. Your metabolism starts to slow down as you get older, especially in your 30s, and steadily decreases. Your muscle mass decreases and your fat increases. It is recommended that you spend at least 30 minutes a day to walk, jog or do exercises around your home to ensure your body stays in shape. If you’re up for a challenge, you can also join a a fitness or strength training class which will also help manage stress.
All-nighters are something of the past. Your body can’t hang – and you know it. You want to stay healthy to enjoy the next decade. The best thing you can do is to get at least eight hours of rest each night. Sleep can help with weight management, mood, focus and many other things.
The consequences of sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your general health and your mental well being.
7. Spend time in nature
If you live in the city, finding time to spend outdoors can be challenging. You may be stuck behind a desk, busy raising a family or in a colder climate most of the year. You have to proactively look for ways to spend your time in nature. If you spend your time in nature as you exercise, you can even kill two birds with one stone. Studies have shown spending time in nature increases health and happiness, while reducing stress.
8. Make routines
Make a schedule and stick to it. The best excuse to not do something is lack of time. Schedules can be tough, but routines feel less overwhelming. Include the following: the reading you’ve set out to do; the exercise you plan to keep consistent with; what time you get into bed every single night; and when you plan to go out into nature. When you apply routines to your life, your body is able to predict and prepare for each moment. That way, you will have an extra boost of energy when it comes time to get things done. Building healthy routines will help you keep your healthy habits, increase your efficiency, build momentum and stay motivated and committed to achieving your goals.
9. See a physician annually
Any type of health complication could begin in your 30s. It’s best to get checked to ensure your lifestyle matches up to your health goals. Your primary care physician will be able to help you create a game plan to get ahead of any potential problems that may arise. Schedule your annual appointment with your primary care physician.
If you’re in the Southern California area and are in search of a primary care physician, call (800)USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or visit www.keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment/ to schedule an appointment.
By Leonard Kim and Louise Cobb