How To Get Fit At 30 – And Important Healthy Habits

How to get fit in your 30s is as simple as listening to your body’s cues. As you transition into your 30s, staying active becomes more crucial than ever. Not only does regular exercise help maintain a healthy weight and build strength, but it also plays a significant role in preventing age-related health issues. By incorporating physical activity into your daily routines, you can boost your metabolism, improve heart health and increase overall energy levels.

Globally, the average age at which women become first-time mothers is 30+, even though it ranges between 20 and 29 in South Africa. “Only 3 to 15 percent of pregnant women meet the suggested physical activity guidelines, which decreases further postnatally,” says Dr Amal Hassan, a sports and exercise medicine consultant.

When it comes to getting fit in your 30s, finding the right workout routine is key. With a plethora of options available, it’s essential to choose a plan that suits both your body and goals. Consider factors like your current fitness level, any injuries or health concerns and what you enjoy doing.

HIIT The Workouts Hard

“As oestrogen levels drop and bone density reduces, strength training helps keep bones strong, as the stress that comes from tugging and pushing on bones nudges bone-forming cells into action,” explains personal trainer Caroline Bragg.

Incorporate high-intensity aerobic efforts to keep your heart and lungs functioning at optimum capacity, too, as the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age as blood vessels stiffen, and exercise, which pushes blood around the body, keeps vessels nice and flexible. Try fitting in two strength training sessions with one high-intensity 30-minute cardio session, such as a spinning class or a run, per week.

Do Some Breathwork

Stress spans every decade, but if you’re juggling more responsibility than ever in your thirties, it might be time
for some new management techniques. “Focused breathwork can curb stress by increasing your oxygen intake, which in turn reduces blood pressure, slows your heart and releases tension in your body,” says Dr Hassan.

There are plenty of free guided breathwork sessions on YouTube, while Breathwrk, Calm and Headspace all have their own. Start with one 10-minute session per week and see how you go.

Just Move It

NEAT, otherwise known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is basically the energy used for everything that’s not formal exercise – the stuff you do without realising it, such as walking around, hauling the washing up the stairs or using a standing desk.

A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that two hours of sitting could cancel out the benefits of a 20-minute workout, so the goal with NEAT is to reduce sedentary time – less about going hard in the gym and more about simply getting yourself moving. Set yourself a realistic daily step count to keep track.

Get Fit In Your 30s: The 15 Minute Bodyweight Home Workout

Instructions: Complete the exercises in this bodyweight home workout in order. Move from one to the next without resting. Rest 45 to 60 seconds at the end of the circuit, then repeat for up to five rounds.

Make it harder: Feeling extra fired up for your bodyweight home workout? Increase the cardio challenge by adding 30 seconds of star jumps or running in place between each move. Get the best out of your chill with this couch workout.

READ MORE: A 4-Week Home Workout Plan To Get Fit And Strong AF

1. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat demonstrated by fitness model for bodyweight home workout

Stand about 60 centimetres in front of your couch and extend your left leg behind you, placing the top of your foot on the seat (A). Keeping your chest upright and core tight, bend both knees to lower your hips as much as you can (B). Push through your right heel to return to start. That’s one rep. Do eight to 12, then repeat on the other side.

READ MORE: Try This 30-Minute HIIT Workout At Home For A Total-Body Burn

2. Travelling Plank With Leg Raise

Travelling Plank With Leg Raise demonstrated by fitness model for bodyweight home workout

Get into push-up position with your toes on the couch (A). Raise your right arm and rotate your torso to the right until your feet are stacked and your body forms a T. Without dropping your hips, lift your right leg (B). Hold for 20 seconds. Reverse the movement to return to start and hold for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

READ MORE: 9 Bodyweight Exercises That Will Improve Your Mobility

3. Single-Leg Hip Thrust

Single-Leg Hip Thrust demonstrated by fitness model for bodyweight home workout

Lie on your back on the floor in front of your couch with your left heel on the edge, knee bent about 90 degrees and your right leg straight up, arms at your sides (A). Press through your left heel and raise your hips as high as possible, keeping your right foot in the air (B). Slowly lower your hips back down. That’s one rep. Do eight to 12, then repeat on the other side.

READ MORE: 10 Best Kettlebell Core Exercises For Strong, Sculpted Abs, From A Trainer

4. Reverse Inch Worm

Reverse Inch Worm demonstrated by fitness model for bodyweight home workout

Get into push-up position with your toes on the couch (A). Bracing your core and glutes, slowly walk your hands towards the couch, lifting your hips into the air and keeping your legs as straight as possible (B). Pause, then walk your hands back out to start. Make it harder by adding a push-up here. That’s one rep. Do four to eight.

Excerpted from the Women’s Health Little Book of 15-Minute Workouts.

READ MORE: 4 Easy Exercises You Can’t Ignore If You’re Walking For Weight Loss

Foods You Should Be Eating In Your 30s

When it comes to maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle in your 30s, nutrition plays a crucial role. It’s essential to fuel your body with the right foods that provide energy and support for your workouts.

It’s recommended that women ages 31-50 consume 25 g of fibre per day. Examples include: oats, legumes, seeds, nuts, breads, cereals and pasta.

Women should include omega-3s to help with inflammation and reducing heart disease risk. This fatty fish, algae, flaxseeds, chia seeds and some nuts.

Your 30s are the time to focus on preserving bone density to prevent loss—and getting enough calcium is the best way to do so.

Aim for a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.

Habits To Avoid In Your 30s

Finally found an exercise routine you genuinely enjoy? The last thing you’re going to want to do is change it, but that could be where you’re going wrong. The loss of muscle mass and bone density that marks this decade is your cue to stop going hell-for-leather in HIIT classes, or at least not so often. “If you regularly put your body through intense workouts in your twenties and are still keen to get your HIIT fix, once a week is enough. A reduction in oestrogen also means that recovery will come slower, as muscle regeneration relies on stem cells called satellite cells, which need oestrogen to function optimally,” says personal trainer Samantha McGowan.

This article written by Bridie Wilkins first appeared in the July/August 2022 Issue of Women’s Health UK, additional reporting by Women’s Health SA team.

Icons at Freepik – Flaticon

Adblock test (Why?)

Powered by WPeMatico