As you enter your third decade, life can become more demanding. Chances are you’re likely going to be juggling family and a career. It’s important to find balance and make time for healthy habits to safeguard your health.
Self-Care During Your 30s
GET THAT GLOW!
Your body is still strong, but your metabolism can slip into a lower gear. So now is the time to work on losing excess weight if needed. Making exercise a regular part of your day and working on maintaining muscle strength now will mean a stronger body in your 40s and 50s, when muscle strength can start to decline.
Pay particular attention to your knees, which need all the help they can get as you age – scaffold them with strong quadriceps and calf muscles.
There is a big gap between the ideal biological age and the ideal social age of conception, according to Monash University’s Dr. Karin Hammarberg. The easiest time to get pregnant is before 30.
As you get older, it will take longer to conceive, and the chance of having a baby decreases. A healthy lifestyle boosts your chances of a successful pregnancy – not smoking, taking care of your oral health, avoiding or limiting alcohol and caffeine, and protecting yourself from environmental chemicals.
Try the Healthy Conception Tool at YourFertility.org.au to help you pinpoint everyday factors that may increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Stress is often on the increase at this stage of life, and those everyday micro stressors can add up and take their toll. There’s no better time to work on keeping a lid on stress because over time it can lower immunity, disrupt digestion and hormones, and trigger disease-causing inflammation.
The most effective stress-buster is finding a healthy work-life balance and introducing a little ‘me-time’ into each day. For at least 15 minutes every day, stop everything and read a book, listen to music, have a bath, meditate, go for a walk, or whatever you find comforting and soothing. Just be sure it doesn’t involve your computer, phone, or reading the latest news headlines.
Know your health history
Taking responsibility for your own health is a big step towards self-care. Start with asking close family members about any health issues and record their responses, then build your own records from that. Record your medical history to date, any risk factors, and medications you’re taking.
This system will help you and your doctor understand any problems that come up in the future, prevent errors in treatment and diagnosis, and help decide what preventative tests you may need.
HOW TO EAT…
Dietitian Bronwen Greenfield says:
>> In many parts of the world it’s becoming more common for women to have a baby in their 30s, so if you are looking to conceive, good nutrition is a must for increasing fertility at this age.
Ensuring that you’re supplementing with folate and eating plenty of foods rich in iron, zinc, and antioxidants is a must. It’s also important to avoid alcohol and high doses of caffeine if you are trying to conceive.
>> Your 30s is also the age at which peak muscle mass is achieved, so ensure that you’re continuing with strength training and eating adequate protein and carbohydrates to fuel and replenish muscle stores.
You’d be surprised how many of us don’t breathe in a healthy way – either holding our breath or shallow breathing – and the negative effects are cumulative, so it’s worth paying attention to it now. Place coloured sticky dots around your house as a reminder to breathe. You might be surprised how often you hold your breath.
Boost the benefits by stopping to breathe from your diaphragm a few times a day, particularly when you’re feeling tired: put your hand over your belly button and, as you inhale, focus on making your stomach and chest rise. This will automatically expand your lower lungs so you take in more air with each breath. It’s an effective fatigue buster, too!
HEALTH CHECK ALERT
Work out your health numbers
Your 30s is a good time to start monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar numbers. They will help to identify the need to take action to improve your heart health. High blood pressure and/or high cholesterol often have no symptoms. This means that you may not realize you have a problem until something serious happens, like a heart attack.
Have a chat with your doctor who can organize the necessary checks and give you advice – from simple lifestyle changes to medication – to keep those key numbers at healthy levels.
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