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stay fit in your 30s

Staying fit in your 30s: More of a necessity than a choice

Stepping into your 30s is a life-altering milestone beyond which everything changes, for good and bad. While you enjoy financial independence, you have more responsibilities to deal with and more fears to face. Other than providing for your family and paying mortgages, you may have a receding hairline, a paunch, and daily stress to deal with, which for some reason, never leaves your side.

Aging is inevitable, but with a fit mind and body you can certainly slow it down. It’s common knowledge. However, despite knowing this reality, many in their 30s live recklessly when it comes to health. Perhaps they assume that their body will continue to work like a machine, like how it did in their 20s. This assumption is silly at best and dangerous at worst. “People feel there’s some intrinsic clock playing out a program in their body that they don’t have influence over,” says Dr John Rowe, a professor of Health Policy and Aging at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s just not true,” he clarifies.

Our fitness and metabolism drastically change as we age. According to the American Council on Exercise, our metabolic rate decreases by 1 to 2 percent every decade. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a hormone produced by our body in abundance in our 20s dips during the 30s, which leads to decreased energy, increased mood swings, slower recovery time, and increased body fat. Needless to say, an unfit body paves the way for an unfit mind if you continue to overlook the importance of staying fit.

Our life is only as good as our choices. And your 30s are the best time to invests in your mind and body for a lifetime of rewards. In this feature, Soulveda explores how to achieve fitness in your 30s, which is more of a necessity than a choice.

Get an effective diet-plan in place

In the 17th century, the author Francois De La Rochefoucauld once said, “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” And it holds true even today. As you age, you need to be more mindful and wary of what you eat. The human body loses 3 to 5 percent body muscle mass and bone density every decade; especially if you have an inactive lifestyle. Protein-rich food items such as yogurt, cheese, seeds and nuts, beans, soy, tofu, cereal-based products, eggs, and lean meat help rebuild the body muscles.

Steering clear of smoking, alcohol, junk food, and unprocessed organic food items lowers the risk of heart diseases, cancers, and other lifestyle diseases.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”

Give priority to mental health

Once you enter your 30’s, you have more responsibilities to deal with, finances to manage, and goals to achieve, all of which severely impacts your mind and body. The stress levels begin to rise, leading to anxiety, depression, fluctuating blood pressure, imbalanced blood glucose levels, and many heart-related ailments.

Psychologist and life coach Nicole Martinez from Illinois School of Professional Psychology explains that stress is responsible for 77 percent of all illnesses—from the inability to lose weight and other digestive issues to heart failure. That’s why she says, “Learning solid coping skills, stress management, mindfulness, and healthy outlets can truly impact every area of your functioning.” Learning effective coping skills that work specifically for you is the key to happiness.

Take frequent breaks from the daily stressors to meditate and perform deep breathing exercises. Practice yoga or take regular walks in the park to maintain mental calmness amidst the chaos of daily life.

Give rest to your mind and body

Life in the 20s feels like a vacation, doesn’t it? Credit goes to your endurance and energy levels that never let you feel tired. You can stay awake till 3 am, plan weekend trips at the last minute, eat junk food all day, drink soda more than water—your body can take it all.

As you step into the 30s, however, you begin to feel exhausted. Instead of pulling all-nighters, you begin to sleep early. You realise the importance of sleep as it allows your body to repair, rejuvenate, and prepare itself for the next day.

If you refuse to listen to your body, you can invite a long list of disorders and diseases—from high blood pressure to heart failure. If you are still accustomed to old habits of sleeping late, it’s time to make some changes. Start by getting in your bed at least 30 minutes before your regular bedtime.

If you refuse to listen to your body, you can invite a long list of disorders and diseases—from high blood pressure to heart failure.

Get active and fit

Most of us are well-settled in our jobs and enjoy financial independence by the time we reach our 30s. However, when you get too comfortable in life, you stop challenging your body and mind. This could lead to weight gain, speed up aging, and bring a dip in metabolism and immunity.

Take care of your body, as you take care of your happiness because one cannot exist without another. Make time for meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises in your daily schedule. You can also partner with a friend for these sessions. Working out with someone has been scientifically proven to be more beneficial than exercising alone. Whatever you choose to do, stick to it. If you are persistent, the hard work will pay a lifetime of rewards.

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