Congratulations on entering another decade and leaving your years of being a “young adult” behind! You’ve worked hard to get where you are now: climbing the corporate ladder, starting a family, etc., but have you been putting off a healthy lifestyle in exchange? You might think that your fast metabolism will save you throughout the remainder of your adulthood, but whatever bad habits you have right now will determine how healthy you’ll be for the rest of your life.
But you don’t have to be a fitness guru to live a healthy lifestyle! Lay the foundations of good health with these simple lifestyle tweaks, and you’ll feel empowered to be the best version of yourself even after the big 3-0.
Have a Good Sleeping Routine
You might think that catching up on sleep on the weekends helps make up for your sleep debt, but you might not know that quality sleep helps improve your physical and mental health. Poor sleep can give you a bigger appetite and increase your risk of weight gain and obesity. This is because sleep deprivation affects the fluctuation of your appetite hormones, causing you to eat more.
Build strong sleeping skills by creating a night-time routine that will let your body know it’s time for bed. About an hour before bed, turn off the TV and put away anything that can distract you from getting a good night’s sleep: your phone, laptop, etc.
Break a Sweat
When you reach your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass, so this is the perfect time to start (or continue) exercising. Aerobic exercises like cardio are good for your mental, physical, and metabolic health. If you’re not a fan of typical workouts, try to make your own workout routine with exercises you genuinely enjoy! Keeping it fresh will motivate you to exercise regularly and help you burn off some excess fat you’ve been worrying about. Exercising regularly has a laundry list of benefits: you’ll have more energy, be more efficient at work, sleep better, and so much more.
If you still find yourself procrastinating your gym workouts, there are other ways to get those muscles pumping: walking, running, cycling, swimming. As long as you make it a point to get yourself moving for at least 30 minutes to an hour every day, you’ll reap the health benefits of exercising.
Curb Your Vices
If you smoke or abuse drugs, choose to address these issues first before thinking about exercise. The substances can have a major effect on you and your body the longer you use them. For example, using meth can cause loss of appetite, increased heart rate, irregular sleep patterns, and hallucinations, which are only some of the drug’s short-term effects. On the other hand, smoking can affect your lungs and heart and can even cause problems in your immune system. Choosing to quit smoking in your 30s gives you a lower mortality risk than those who choose to stop after 40.
Even alcohol can cause you problems in the long run, so it’s best to drink moderately, if not at all. It isn’t easy to overcome these vices, but if you sense that you have a problem with them, you can seek help through rehab facilities.
Eat Good Food
You don’t have to go on a diet to eat healthily. The most effective way to do this is to eat real foods. Try to focus on eating unprocessed food free of additives, and don’t forget your fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are the core of eating healthy, and filling up your plate with these two (especially vegetables) increases your chances of a long life. If you’re trying to lose a bit of weight, cut back or avoid unrefined carbs like oats, potatoes, and legumes, which can cause metabolic issues for overweight or obese people.
Make an effort to eat with intention: plan your meals, cook them (if you can), eat on time, and don’t multi-task. This gives you the breaks you need in the day and helps you create the mindset to eat not only because you’re hungry but also to nourish your body.
Keep in Touch with Friends
You might not like to admit it, but your parents were right. Who you hang out with matters. The people around you influence the way you live, which is why it’s good to surround yourself with supportive family and friends. Studies have even found that social relationships can influence what you consume; if you see your friend post about having a healthy meal for lunch, you’re more likely to do the same. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to become better.
Your 30s might be a difficult time to maintain friendships, but try to make time to catch up with your friends. Since it might be hard to meet your friends in person with the pandemic sweeping the nation, try to schedule a get-together with them via a monthly Zoom call. Adults with strong social support are less likely to get major health problems, so keeping in touch with friends and family can be good for your overall health.
Being healthy is not something that happens overnight. Introduce these changes to your lifestyle gradually. You’ll find it easier to maintain, and eventually, you’ll be living a healthy lifestyle without even realizing it! And like they say, being healthy isn’t a sprint but a marathon.