You may have dreaded your 30th birthday, but after it came you felt a newfound sense of self-assurance. Getting older means growing into your skin and feeling more confident.

Unfortunately, you may have some bad habits that could be causing 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 so easy to top a long workday off by sharing a meal and a few drinks with friends. Before you know it, you end up at the bar chowing down on pork belly mac and cheese and washing it down with a couple of beers. I know. I’ve been there many times.

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. In your 30s you’re often able to afford to eat out more, and sadly it’s not a time in your life you can spare the extra calories that go with that.

2. Stay hydrated

If you have a busy work schedule and consider coffee one of your best friends or are just in the habit of reaching for caffeine throughout the day you may be dehydrating your body. Chances are you opt for a cocktail or a beer and forget to consume water. Because your brain is made up of approximately 80% water, the lack of water can affect your 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 these important facets of life can contribute to your stress level. To manage your stress and anxiety try staying home more often – it will likely help you save money too — a bonus. It may feel awkward at first, but staying home is good for you. It will give your body the energy it needs to rebuild, replenish and recover from stress and move forward another day.

4. Read

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.

5. Exercise

Exercising may be the hardest change to implement; at least it is for me. 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.

6. Sleep

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.

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 have to proactively look for ways to spend your time in nature. If you’re in Los Angeles, you can always hike up Runyon Canyon or take a trip out to Malibu. If you spend your time in nature as you exercise, you can even kill two birds with one stone. The reason going out in nature is good for you is because it helps you increase your brain function and level of happiness. It reduces your stress and will help you age gracefully.

8. Make routines

Make a schedule and stick to it. 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 turn your life into a routine, 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. This helps you build solid habits, increases your efficiency, builds momentum and keeps you motivated 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 to schedule an appointment.

By Leonard Kim