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Get Fit, Thirty-somethings!

16/Jan/2024

Health

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It’s inevitable that you leave behind the brave, experimental, carefree, and party-going years of your 20s for the stability, hard-won confidence, balance, and obligations of your 30s. If you’ve practised a healthy lifestyle all this while, give yourself a pat on the back. If you haven’t, it’s time to get sensible.  


Here are some physiological changes and age-related conditions that you may face in your 30s, coupled with advice on what you can do about it. 


Metabolic Slowdown  


A slowdown in metabolism is a physiological change due to age-related conditions, making it easier to gain and harder to lose weight. You could become overweight, or worse, obese. As a result, you would be vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions.  


Sustaining a healthy weight would be a step in the right direction. To kickstart a healthy lifestyle, start by reducing intake of processed foods and including some of these in your diet:  


- Coldwater fatty fish: These are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and iron. Fish oils also help to reduce inflammation and promote joint mobility.  


- Milk and other dairy products: Provides calcium that helps prevent osteoporosis and is vital for healthy pregnancies. For those who are lactose intolerant, opt for non-dairy sources of calcium include broccoli, kale, spinach, and soy products. 


- Nuts: A superb source of energy packed with fibre and antioxidants (e.g. Vitamin E). 


- Dark green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals: These give you lots of iron to prevent anaemia, and folate (Vitamin B9) for cell and tissue growth. 


Frequent exercise would also help with weight control, lowering the risk of heart disease and enhancing your mood. Cardiovascular activities like jogging, playing racquet games and swimming would burn lots of calories and boost energy levels.   


Aim to get enough sleep. Six to eight hours of sleep every night would ensure proper functioning of your metabolic system.  

You should also take blood tests to detect cholesterol levels, check for hypertension, and diabetes. As a preventative measure, go for a general health screening to determine if you are overweight or obese and get advice on weight management. 


Loss of Muscle Mass 


Some time in your 30s, you may also start to experience physiological changes like the loss of muscle tissue. This condition is known as sarcopenia and results in the loss of strength, stamina, and mobility.  

 

You may be able to slow down sarcopenia by increasing protein intake and including weight-training workouts in your exercise programme to strengthen your muscles and promote a healthy lifestyle. Joining a gym may be beneficial as you have access to a wide assortment of machines and weights for this purpose.  

 

Ensure that you consume adequate amounts of protein at least an hour before and after every weight-training workout. Vary the structure of these workouts, doing fewer reps with heavier weights on one day and more reps with lighter weights on another, and give your muscles a day’s rest in between. If you do this at least twice a week, you’ll quickly see improvements in muscular fitness.  

 

It is advisable to consult a doctor before starting on weight training. Such workout regimes with a high protein diet may be detrimental to your kidneys and liver in the long run. Hence, regular medical check-ups should be done to monitor your organs should you opt for this training programme. 

 

Deterioration in Skin Quality 


As you get older, your skin may show physiological changes and visible signs of damage. It may develop a few wrinkles and lose elasticity due to loss of collagen.  


Ensure your skin is properly hydrated by drinking lots of water and applying antioxidant enriched moisturisers with sunscreen to prevent sun damage and premature aging and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 


You can try to replenish lost collagen by eating food containing high amounts of the amino acids, proline, lysine (e.g. egg whites, wheat germ, fish, and peanuts), and Vitamin C as they are. essential for collagen formation.  


 You should also go for a thorough skin test to check for skin cancer.  


Hormonal Changes 

Women may experience menopausal transition (also known as perimenopause). This may result in insomnia, hot flashes, mood swings, and anxiety during this period of declining fertility.  

If you find yourself suffering from symptoms of perimenopause, try to minimise stress, maintain a healthy diet, and practice regular exercise.  

 

Yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques could help you cope with stress and anxiety. In addition, you could take herbal supplements to alleviate symptoms and pamper yourself more often to stay upbeat.  

 

Vulnerability to Cancer  

As we get older, the risks of getting cancer and other dangerous illnesses increase. For those reasons, it is vital that men go for clinical testicular exams and women undergo clinical breast exams and Pap smear tests. 

 

Dental Issues 

Physiological changes and age-related conditions may also include your teeth and gums due to aging and osteoporosis. It would be prudent to schedule regular visits to the dentist for early detection of oral health problems and routine removal of plaque and bacteria. 

   

Eye Weaknesses 

Hereditary issues and age-related conditions may also contribute to poor vision. You should see an optometrist to determine the health of your eyes. The doctor would additionally check for glaucoma, a condition in which eyeball pressure causes progressive vision loss, which becomes more common after your mid-30s.  

 

That aside, getting plenty of rest and eating antioxidant-rich foods would help in the maintenance of eye health. 

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