If you’ve been blessed with good health, you might take it for granted. But going into your 30s is a great time to begin to really take charge of your health. Start doing the things you probably already know you should be doing. And form healthy, lifelong habits.
Once you get in a groove, it’s easier to stay there. And the benefits can last the rest of your life.
Now’s the time to work on weight control, exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep and stress reduction. These seven tips are a good start:
- Smoking: Stop!
- Exercise: Make sure you get at least 30 minutes a day. It will help you cope with everything else that’s going on in life.
- Maintain your weight if it’s right. Weigh yourself weekly. If pounds start creeping up, reduce the calories you take in and increase your exercise. Forget diets and eat healthy.
- Lose weight if it’s too high. It will only get harder to lose later. The link above can help.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet pyramid is a handy reminder.
- Sleep more: Get at least seven hours of shut-eye a night. You’ll be better at work and with friends and family, and safer driving the car or operating machinery! Some sleeping tips here.
- Reduce stress in ways that give you pleasure: meditation, time management, art, music. Learn to say “no” and “good enough.”
Sex and Reproduction
Reproductive health is important. You may be having babies or raising them, looking for a partner or making your life with one. Women’s risk for human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer are higher in your 30s
- Take folic acid and make sure your vaccinations are up to date if you’re thinking about getting pregnant.
- Have a Pap and HPV test every five years as long as your test results are normal. Have tests more often if your health team suggests.
- Practice what you learned about safe sex if you are not in a monogamous relationship. Here’s a refresher on safer sex.
- Know your family history of cancer when choosing birth control methods. The link between the pill and breast cancer is not clear, but if you have a family history, you’ll want to discuss it with your doctor.
- Explore fertility options with your doctor if you want a baby and are having trouble getting pregnant. More about trouble getting pregnant here.
Other Health Measures
It’s also time to start looking at some other preventive health measures. During the 30s, risk increases for skin cancer, breast cancer, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. So start checking:
- Blood pressure
- Skin (look for unusual or changing moles or growths)
- Blood sugar (check every three years, more often if overweight)
- Blood cholesterol (check every five years if not elevated)
- Breast exam by a health care professional (check every three years)
- If there’s a breast cancer history in your family, start talking to your doctor about when to begin having mammograms
- And don’t forget you annual flu shot
Lifelong health starts with the decisions you make today.
The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.