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13 August 2003

Your body - the 30s

The way you treat your body and the habits you get into in this decade, will play a big role in determining your health for the rest of your life. Treating yourself well now, will prevent health problems later on in life.

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The way you treat your body and the habits you get into in this decade, will play a big role in determining your health for the rest of your life. Check your cholesterol levels regularly, find some stress relieving mechanisms and keep as active as possible. You will be so grateful later on!

By our third decade on planet earth, most of us have learnt some new words. We’ve learnt some stuff about interest rates, bond repayment and ante-nuptial contracts. Things have started to get serious. What with needing to get the kids to soccer and ballet, getting to the PTA meeting and catching the cricket score, you’ve missed your workout … again.

This is the stage of your life that the habits – good or bad – over the previous years of your life come home to roost. Look at your waistline, and those of your friends. What’s happened to yours in the last ten years? Ideally, your trouser size should stay more or less the same. More importantly, it shouldn’t be more than size 36 (102 inches). Any larger than that and your run a heightened risk of heart disease.

  • Get yourself a cup of strong coffee and think about your workout routine. Find creative ways to shoehorn three 45-minute sessions into your week;
  • If gym doesn’t really rev your motor, try a variety of aerobic activities, such as cycling, basketball, running and walking. Get creative: even action cricket, indoor rock climbing and ballroom dancing count as exercise;
  • Look for ways to combine your much-needed exercise routine with your chores. Swap your electric mower for a manual push model. Strength training has become important in this stage of your life: if you don’t do any resistance training you’ll lose around ten percent of your muscle mass between the ages of 25 and 50. From then on, until your 80th year, you’ll lose another 35 percent;
  • After your morning shower, spend a few minutes doing some stretches. Better still, learn some nifty yoga moves. You’ll be more supple than most of your peers and probably more calm driving to work.

Examine your habits: you’re roughly a third of the way through your life. A glass of wine a day is fine. But give your liver a break one night a week. It goes almost without saying that you shouldn’t be smoking, but avoid the current cigar fad too. Cancer of the mouth and throat is as little fun as any type of cancer.

Check your cholesterol levels regularly, find some stress relieving mechanisms and keep as active as possible. You will be so grateful later in life!

Ask yourself some hard questions about how much you drink. Have you ever had a blackout? Did you ever miss work because of drinking? Did you ever resolve not to drink at a party and then ended up drinking anyway? Have you ever decided to go “dry” for a while and then not stick to your commitment? Do you wish your family or friends wouldn’t moan about your drinking?

If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, get help. It’s the bravest thing to do.

The way you treat your body and the habits you get into in this decade, will play a big role in determining your health for the rest of your life. Check your cholesterol levels regularly, find some stress relieving mechanisms and keep as active as possible. You will be so grateful later on!

 
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