SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — People can mostly get through their youth and their 20s while remaining pretty healthy, but there are several health conditions we need to look out for and get tested for as we age.
Once you hit your 30’s, health educator Karen Owoc said these are the top five health risks to watch:
- Metabolism slows down, so the amount you ate in your 20s may cause weight gain in your 30s.
- After age 30, inactive adults lose 3% to 8% of their muscle mass per decade.
- Extra weight = higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
High Blood Pressure
- Weight gain and chronic stress increase risk of high blood pressure.
- Hypertension increases risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia.
- 9% of Americans has diabetes.
- 37% of adults over age 20 has PRE-diabetes — and nearly 27% don’t know it.
- Make dietary changes, get regular exercise, and maintain a healthy weight
- 78% of new cervical cases are diagnosed in women aged 30 to 39 (per the CDC).
- Cervical cancer is more easily treatable.
- This cancer is relatively rare, but about 50% of cases are found in men between 20 and 34 years old.
- Highly treatable with 95% of cases “cured” following treatment.
Here are some things you can do to keep yourself healthy for longer, despite aging:
- Inflexibility leads to tight muscles: low back pain, neck pain, and poor range of motion.
- A stiff, slow moving body is a tell-tale sign of age.
Improve Your Body Composition
- It’s much easier to lose weight in your 30s than it is in your 40s, 50s, and beyond.
- Increase your muscle mass and decrease your percentage of fat.
- Set some health goals before age 40.
Make Exercise a Priority
- Exercise will improve sleep better and have energy.
Strengthen Your Sleep Skills
- Getting adequate sleep affects how well you perform (at work, during exercise, in your relationships) as well as how well you enjoy life.
Quit Smoking and Reduce Alcohol
- You may have been able to recover from short-term hangovers in your 20s, but the long-term effects include certain cancers, liver disease, and heart problems.
- Make relaxation a daily practice and a habit (meditation, yoga, deep breathing) to prevent stress-related illnesses and chronic inflammation that leads to chronic disease.
Eat Whole Foods
- Get started eating less highly processed food for healthy aging and a healthy heart.
Stay On Top of Your Health
- Start health screenings (high blood pressure, diabetes)
- Know your health history (talk to your family members, start a family tree that includes medical histories)
- Talk to your doctor about disease prevention.
- Track your medical history, risk factors, medications, screening dates — no one is going to do this for you.
Balance Home and Work
- The 30s are your prime productive working years, and your career may be taking off, but an overloaded work schedule can cause serious health effects.
- Maintain friendships and strike a balance between your home life and work life.
- Do regular self-checks to be sure your life is in balance.