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8 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 30s, your health shouldn’t be one of them.

Your 30s should be one of the most rewarding decades of your life, which includes being able 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 eight tips to help you keep healthy in your 30s. 

1. Time to get (re)tested 

You (hopefully) would have been getting skin checks, blood tests and cervical screening checks in your 20s, so keep up the good work! If you haven’t made these simple health checks part of your wellbeing routine it’s never too late to start. 

We’ve put together a list of health checks that are important for people in their 30s to get you started.

Short on time? No worries, complete your free online HealthCheck and get personalised insights about your health in minutes.

2. Give your skin a glow up 

Noticing some changes in your skin? By the time you hit your thirties you might have some evidence of late nights and sun-damage. But it's never too late to start taking care of your skin. Using a broad spectrum sunscreen not only helps protect you from skin cancer but can prevent premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Understand your skin type and associated skin cancer risk with our free Skin Health Assessment tool - it takes less than five minutes.

You may also wish to speak to your doctor or dermatologist about establishing a skin care regime that works for you. Generally you’ll need a good cleanser, sunscreen and moisturiser. If you're using prescription skincare, you can get your prescriptions delivered to your door via our partnership with

3. Build your bones 

Unfortunately our bones gradually decrease in strength and density from your 30s onwards, so now is the time to build up your bone density to help prevent osteoporosis and brittle bones later in life. Make sure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D and integrate weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises into your workout routine. Try upping your calcium intake by eating dairy products and green, leafy veggies. 

Get the lowdown on the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.

4. Watch your diet, but avoid 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. As a general guide, it’s good to decrease refined foods and refined carbohydrates.

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

  • Prep! Preparing your meals using fresh ingredients will set you up for higher nutrients across your day and lower calories compared to processed food options you might opt for when buying your lunches and dinners throughout the week.

  • Boosting your fibre and antioxidant intake by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables gives 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.

  • 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.

  • If you have a dietary need, make sure you chat with your GP or dietician to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need. 

Looking to improve your diet on a budget?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!

5. Keep calm and get moving

Sitting all day isn't great for you and in some cases has been deemed just as bad for your health as smoking. 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.

It’s ideal to try and get 150 minutes hours of aerobic exercise each week; this is great for weight management, de-stressing and maintaining overall health. Try jogging, cycling or an organised sport (such as tennis, Oztag or soccer) to get your heart pumping and burn off calories. Don’t forget to incorporate strength training twice a week not only tone your muscles but also improve bone strength.

These are government guidelines so it’s best to chat with your GP or health professional to put together an exercise and movement plan that works for you, especially if you’re just getting back into it! nib members can book an online consultation with a GP via our telehealth offering.

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.

6. Prioritise relaxing and mental health

For many of us, relaxing is difficult. Even when we stop for a moment, our heads are often 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 or yoga 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. Not for you? That's ok, we have a range of other mental wellbeing articles you can read at your leisure.

Guided meditations are a great place to start, too. They are widely available online, sometimes without cost, and do the focus legwork for you if you struggle to clear your mind on your own.

7. Good, clean fun

We all know smoking is a no-no, however while smoking rates are in decline we are now seeing a rise in vaping (which still has a harmful effect on our bodies). Avoiding vaping is as important as avoiding tobacco.

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.

A great reference is the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines to reduce risk of harm from alcohol related disease. They suggest no more than 10 standard drinks a week, and no more than four standard drinks a day. (These guidelines are for those who do not deal with or are diagnosed with addiction illnesses. If you need support with alcohol, the Australian Government has curated a list of organisations that offer support, counselling and more).

Is it time to rethink the amount of alcohol you drink? Find out more about the long-term effects of alcohol.

8. 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.