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5 healthy habits to start in your 30s

It's the perfect time to lay the foundations of good health

A smiling young couple preparing food in the kitchen
A smiling young couple preparing food in the kitchen

Remembering your mum’s birthday, knowing how to choose a ripe avocado, saving for a house, getting a promotion, climate change – there are enough things you need to worry about in your late 20s and turning 30 shouldn’t be one of them.

Your 30s should be one of the most rewarding decades of your life, but it’s also a good time to lay the foundations of good health for the rest of your life.

Although we can’t help you with your mum’s birthday, we CAN help when it comes to your health. Here are five tips to help you keep healthy in your 30s.

1. Watch your diet, but don’t start dieting

Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean dieting. It means eating in moderation (most of the time!) and making sure you get the nutrients you need for good physical and mental health.

To give your body the fuel it needs to function, focus on:

  • Preparing your meals using fresh ingredients. They’re higher in nutrients, lower in calories compared with processed foods and good for your body and mind.

  • Boosting your fibre and antioxidant intake by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. For the best results, aim for two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day.

  • Choosing whole grains to up your fibre intake.

  • Eating fish a few times a week for a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for growth and development.

  • Upping your calcium intake for bone strength by eating dairy products and green, leafy veggies.

Try not to exclude entire food groups from your diet without getting advice from a health professional, especially if you’re concerned you might have a food allergy or intolerance.

Looking to improve your diet? Have no money for fancy ingredients and no time to cook? nib foundation partner No Money No Time has you covered. Take the Healthy Eating Quiz today to see where you can improve your diet and unlock access to personalised recipes from leading Nutrition and Dietetics experts – all without paying a cent!

A smiling young couple preparing food in the kitchen

2. Keep calm and get moving

Sitting is the new smoking, so if you’re stuck at a desk all day long, it’s a good idea to move more. Take a walk at lunchtime, use the stairs instead of a lift and work some activity into your commute by parking further away or getting off the bus/tram/train one stop earlier.

Aerobic exercise can be great for weight loss and de-stressing. Try jogging, cycling or an organised sport (such as tennis, Oztag or soccer) to get your heart pumping and burn off calories. Strength training not only tones your muscles but also improves bone strength.

When it comes to exercise, one of the big hurdles is staying motivated. Willpower on its own is often not enough. If you’re thinking about starting a regular activity, choose something you enjoy – you might find that once you get started, it doesn’t feel like you’re working out because you’re having too much fun.

If you’re looking to start your fitness journey, check out Cassey Maynard’s exercise tips for beginners.

3. Just relax

For many of us, relaxing is difficult and even when we stop for a moment, our heads are still buzzing with all the things on our to-do lists.

Realising that different people relax in different ways is a good place to start. For some people, relaxation exercises, mindfulness, yoga or meditation are the way to go. For others, simply doing enjoyable activities is better – listening to a podcast or taking a stroll might be more your thing.

We all feel overwhelmed from time to time, so here are three ways you can improve your mental wellbeing in under five minutes.

4. Good, clean fun

We all know smoking is a no-no, and smoking rates have been declining for some time now. The number of people who drink alcohol has also dropped over the last decade, and those who do drink tend to do so less often.

But while the short-term risks of alcohol, such as hangovers, are well known, fewer people realise that it can also harm your health long term. Cutting down on alcohol helps reduce your risk of several health problems, including certain cancers, liver disease and heart problems.
Is it time to rethink the amount of alcohol you drink? Find out more about the long-term effects of alcohol.

5. Vaccinate

All healthy 30-somethings should consider having a flu shot. The flu is nasty no matter what age you are when you have it, so it’s worth getting vaccinated each year. Very few people have troublesome side effects, and by getting immunised you can also help stop the spread to others.

Related: Everything you need to know about the flu

Is it time for a health cover check-up?

At nib, we’re committed to keeping you at your healthiest, which is why we’ve put together a list of health checks that are important for people in their 30s.

Everyone’s health cover needs are different. To help you understand what level of cover is best suited to you, get in touch with our cover experts today to learn more about what people like you are commonly claiming on and what cover would be the best fit.

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