10 Healthy Habits to Develop in Your 30s
November marks my birthday month, and as each year passes by, I am reminded I am not that 20-something who can bounce back easily like I used to. I am a firm believer that your 30s set you up for the foundation of the rest of your life. What you do in this decade can allow you to age gracefully or set you up for an uphill battle down the line. If you want to live your best quality life, here are 10 Healthy Habits to Develop in your 30s.
Focus on Mental Health
Oftentimes, in our thirties, we embark on a journey of self-discovery. We are coming into our own careers, establishing families, and facing many life changes. This can be stressful for those who feel like they are not ready to “adult” yet. Consider seeking professional help to navigate the changes you’re facing.
Make Exercise a Priority
Exercise is essential to healthy aging. You do not have to be a star athlete, but you should get the minimum recommendations. As we age, preserving our musculoskeletal system is essential to slow aged-related conditions and preserve brain health. Exercise helps keep our range of motion and improves our mood. To receive the benefits of exercise, you should get a minimum of 150 minutes a week.
Prioritize Good Nutrition
Do you remember the days when you could eat a whole pizza and not feel the repercussions as quickly as you do now? It is time to be more aware of what you’re putting into your body and fuel it correctly to meet the demands of your day. You may find your body is more sensitive to what you feed it, and you hold on to things longer than you used to. Adjust the amount of food you eat to account for the natural slowdown of your metabolism.
Do not let busyness and stress derail your eating. When we do not fuel our bodies with the correct nutrients, we open ourselves to metabolic conditions. Focus on cooking at home over eating out.
Here are some healthy food choices as you age:
Go to the Doctor
Now is the time to go to the doctor and get your regular screenings. Track your family history and know what possible underlying issues you may face. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 78% of new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed between 30 and 39. Therefore, it is recommended for women in their 30s to be screened with a combined PAP/HPV screening every five years. Click here for a list of health screenings.
Focus on Sleeping Habits
At this age, there are new stressors in life, and getting adequate sleep helps tackle that. One study concluded poor sleep quality affects intrinsic aging with a lowered satisfaction of outward appearance. Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process, whereas extrinsic are environmental factors like exposure to the sun. Sleep is essential to combat illness, weight gain, and mental health issues that progress more quickly if we neglect preventative measures. It is recommended to get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly.
Find A Hobby You Love
With the priorities we face daily, it is important to find something just for you. Research shows people who engage in hobbies live longer, are happier, and have less depression. Hobbies help us take our minds off the stress in our lives and give us a sense of purpose outside of our obligations. This will give you the drive to focus on healthy habits in your life.
You may start to see appearances of lines that don’t fade and less elasticity of the skin. In your 30s, the production of collagen slows. Develop a healthy skincare routine to stall the signs of aging on your skin. Exfoliate regularly to circulate dull, dry skin and skin regeneration. Consume vitamins to improve damage from the sun, environment, and natural aging processes. Sunscreen is vital to wear year-round!
Suggested vitamins and supplements to add:
- Collagen– Helps your skin stay radiant and elastic.
- Vitamin C– Helps boost collagen production.
- Healthy Fats Like Omega-3– This helps preserve our DNA segments responsible for aging and improve dry skin.
- Vitamin E– Helps reduce and prevent sun damage.
- Coconut oil– Helps prevent sun damage and protects from free radicals for a youthful glow!
Maintain Healthy Relationships
Having healthy friendships and relationships improve your health and well-being as you age. Research finds loneliness contributes to higher stress and inflammation in the body leading to a higher mortality rate. Friends offer relief from stress and promote a sense of belonging. They are essential to mental health improvements and help you cope with life traumas. Here are some friendship tips as we age:
- Find people with a common interest.
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Be flexible
- Be open and honest
A high-stress lifestyle is directly related to increased signs of aging on your body. Find ways to manage stress and slow the signs of aging externally. Many of the healthy habits mentioned above will help reduce the stress in your life.
Water is essential to life for many reasons. One benefit of adequate water intake is improved brain function and energy levels. Hydration is helpful for cell elasticity and joint flexibility, reducing dry skin and the appearance of aging.
Overall, aging is a blessing; not many have the privilege of knowing. The first step is accepting our age and not holding on to the harmful habits we did when we were younger. Take care of your body through these healthy habits to live the best quality of life. You’re only as old as you feel.