Your 30s are a crucial time in your life, especially regarding your health. While you may feel invincible in your 20s, your 30s are when your lifestyle really starts to catch up with you. Maintaining good health in your 30s sets the stage for lifelong well-being.
While over half of U.S. adults struggle with chronic illness by age 60, it doesn't have to be this way. With some simple changes, you can ensure your health is in top shape during this important decade.
Here are ten excellent tips for keeping your health in check during your 30s:
1. Eat a Nutritious Diet
What you eat impacts your health, both now and in the future. In your 30s, it's important to focus on eating a diet full of nutritious whole foods.
- Consume more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.
- Limit sweets, salty snacks, refined carbohydrates, and red or processed meats as much as possible.
- Aim to create balanced meals and snacks that incorporate nutrients from all the food groups.
Prepping healthy meal options on weekends makes it easy to have nutritious snacks and lunches ready to grab when you're busy during the workweek.
2. Stay on Top of Screenings
Preventive health screenings allow for the early detection and treatment of conditions before they progress or cause significant damage. Know which routine screenings you should get in your 30s based on age, gender, health status, and risk factors.
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Important screenings for women include mammograms, Pap tests, and bone density scans. Recommended screenings for men include tests for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and heart disease risk.
3. Prioritize Sleep
Although getting a good night's sleep is essential for good health, many adults struggle to get the recommended 7-9 hours per night.
If you're suffering from a chronic lack of sleep, you are at a high risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and impaired cognition and immunity.
Be intentional about prioritizing sleep in your 30s by sticking to a regular sleep schedule, limiting evening screen time, and creating a cool, dark, and quiet sleep environment.
4. Manage Stress
Chronic stress is also a major threat to health in your 30s. While the 30s can be an age where worries strike you the most, constantly surrounding yourself with unmanaged stress can take a major toll on your mental and physical health.
Make stress management a priority in your 30s. First, identify your main stressors and then take proactive steps to reduce them. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and journaling can help induce relaxation.
Additionally, you can connect with your social support system, such as family or friends, or even a therapist can help. Taking time for self-care is also essential.
The point is to learn healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress before it spirals out of control. Don't let stress run your life.
5. Wear Sunscreen Daily
Daily sunscreen use is key to protecting your skin since sun exposure is the number one cause of skin cancer. About 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Apply a broad spectrum SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen to any exposed skin every morning, and reapply at least every 2 hours when spending time outdoors. Also, seek shade during peak sun hours.
Wearing sunscreen diligently in your 30s prevents wrinkles and skin damage down the road and reduces your skin cancer risk. Don't leave home without it!
6. Stay Active
Being physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being. Health experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity, like brisk walking, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, like running.
Additionally, aim to add strength training exercises 2-3 times per week into your daily routine. This will build muscle and support bone health.
Staying active provides many benefits - boosting your energy levels, improving your mental health, strengthening your cardiovascular system, helping you maintain a healthy weight, and much more. Find activities you enjoy and make movement a regular part of your daily routine.
7. Make Regular Doctor Visits
See your primary care doctor annually for preventive health checkups to review your risk factors, get recommended health screenings, update vaccinations, and discuss any concerns or symptoms you may have.
An ongoing relationship with a doctor you know and trust ensures potential health issues can be caught early and addressed promptly. Don't be afraid to speak up and advocate for your health during appointments. Your doctor is your partner in staying healthy.
8. Prioritize Mental Health
Mental health is critical to overall well-being, not just physical health. You must prioritize it in your 30s by establishing healthy coping mechanisms for stress, making time for hobbies and activities you enjoy, regularly connecting with your social support system, and watching for signs of depression, anxiety, or burnout.
Don't hesitate to seek professional counseling or therapy for extra support. Your mental health impacts everything - take care of it.
Your 30s are full of life changes and responsibilities. While it can be challenging to prioritize health amidst everything else going on, doing so pays off immensely. Investing in healthy habits now sets you up for better health both today and for the rest of your life.
The small steps you take in your 30s create your health for the future. Focus on eating well, staying active, managing stress, getting preventive care, and avoiding unhealthy habits.
Your future self will thank you for caring for yourself when you feel good about your body.