All right, ladies, listen up. You might be in your 30s, but that doesn’t mean your metabolism is going to come to a screeching halt and all hope for getting the body of your dreams is lost. Because it isn’t! In fact, your fitness journey is just dawning. A smart weight loss and fitness plan can be worked into your life, no matter how busy you might be with responsibilities, like a career or children.
The 30s are an excellent time to establish lifelong health routine that lasts throughout your 40s, 50s, and beyond.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
Before we get into the fitness tips, let’s have a quick look at common misconceptions that many women—even my own mother—seem to have a hard time not believing.
Even if you are extremely active, humans naturally start losing muscle mass in their 30s—women more so than men. For example, if you are a couch potato, you will lose about 5-percent of your muscle mass every 10 years.
You want muscle for a few reasons: It keeps you looking younger longer, revs your metabolism, helps with stability and mobility, and helps you stay independent.
Forgetting Your Metabolism
Unfortunately for women, your metabolism slows down in your 30s. Though the slow down isn’t huge and won’t cause a sudden onset of fat, missing the chance to fire up your metabolism will add up in the later years.
Remember to eat a diet that keeps the metabolism humming and do plenty of strength training. The benefit of added muscle mass is a faster metabolism, after all.
Thinking You’re Still A Teenager
Those days have come and gone, girl. You’re a boss lady now. But if you’re still getting instances of adult acne, breakouts, and hormonal fluctuations that remind you of puberty, something is up. When you have acne in your 30s, for example, it could be from your diet, oily skin, or using too many harsh chemicals.
If you want to get healthy, its time to de-stress, clean up your diet, drop the Pop-Tarts and Skippy, and start exercising.
Avoiding The Doctor
Around your 30s, the silent killers start to rear their ugly heads. For things like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, screenings should really start in your 20s; but if you have been avoiding the doctor, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Knowing what your cholesterol level and triglycerides are will help you decide how much of a lifestyle change you need to make.
Diet and Weight Loss
Losing weight and getting healthy in your 30s is a mix of doing set responsibilities, like going to the doctor, and also understanding where you are in life. As a woman in your 30s, you most likely are building a career, a home, or both. Challenges are going to be based on how much time you have to yourself.
Cleaning up your diet is an easy way to make lasting changes that, after a while, you won’t even notice anymore. So first, you need to think about your eating habits. Do you rely on fast food often? How many times a week do you cook? What do you snack on? Do you stress eat?
By understanding and overcoming these barriers, you can identify where the weight is coming from and then make changes to overcome those hurdles. For example, you might decide to start meal prepping and packing your lunch to avoid eating caloric fast food every single day.
For ladies, a lot of stress often compels us to reach for the ice cream or the chocolate or some other sugary dessert (because you can’t spell dessert without ‘stress’). Between relationship woes, children, work, family, and every other responsibility, sometimes you just want to drown your stress in carbs—but there’s a problem with that. When you stress eat, you are consuming massive amounts of carbs, overloading your body with sugar and insulin. At first, this results in the body storing those excess sugars in fat cells. Over time, this could even lead to pre-diabetes or even full-blown type II diabetes.
Instead of relying on wine and chocolate, take up yoga, running, weight training, kickboxing, gardening, or something else active to help you burn more calories. Endorphins are another plus that help bust stress.
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Exercise Tips For Women In Their 30s
Speaking of exercise, you need it. The American Heart Association states that adults should exercise at least 150 minutes a week, including 20 minutes or more of intense, vigorous, sweat-inducing exercise 3 times a week.
Now, this doesn’t mean going gung-ho in the beginning and burning yourself out.
Start off slow and build up. You might like the low impact indoor rowing machine, the elliptical, yoga, Pilates, and swimming at the start—and that’s perfect. Do Zumba and kickboxing. Find something you love and stick with it.
Don’t forget to include some weight-bearing exercises. Weight train at least 2 days a week with moderate to heavyweight. Make sure the days are nonconsecutive. Excellent exercises for women in their 30s include:
- Push-ups – hundreds of variations and can be done anywhere you go
- Planks – same as push-ups
- Side plank – great for firming the core and shoulders
- Side-lying leg scissors – tone up those inner thighs
- Forward lunges with a bicep curl – a strong, full-body move that works both the legs and the arms
- Assisted pull-ups – nothing is better for the upper body than a pull-up, but if you don’t have an assisted pull-up machine at your gym, you can do other back exercises with resistance bands, like lat pull downs
- Push press with a barbell – the quarter-squat and overhead extension work the entire body
- Goblet squats – grab a kettlebell to hold and squat deep, working those glutes, core, and upper body all at once
Don’t be afraid to test out all kinds of free weights. Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls can help you do hundreds of variations of the above moves. You should also work with balance boards, BOSU balls, Swiss balls, sleds, and ropes. Fitness can be fun, so play around and find what works for you.
Getting fit in your 30s might seem like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Use this article as your baseline. From there, start working on your nutrition, exercise more often, and don’t give up. If you stick with it, you will transform into the best version of yourself yet.
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