Staying fit in your 30s is a bit trickier than it was in your 20s. It is still entirely doable, of course. You just have to work out smarter and incorporate more strength-based routines. You also cannot eat the same way you did in your 20’s.
Back in my 20s when I was in the Marine Corps, we used to eat like absolute monsters. A whole large pizza, side of wings, some breadsticks, and a bottle of Mountain Dew is going to affect me way more now than it did 10 years ago.
And alcohol? Way harder to shed those extra pounds once they are put on!
5 Steps for Staying Fit In Your 30s
The third decade of your life sees changes such as a slower basal metabolic rate and decreases in bone density and muscle mass, the latter two especially for women. Women’s bone density and muscle mass decline about 15 percent each decade after 30 years old.
Basal metabolic rate has to do with the number of calories your body needs. A slower BMR means you can’t get away with eating the same amounts you did in your 20s without gaining weight, and that plays into my example above about eating 7 plates at the local buffet.
1. Focus On Strength-Based Workouts
Resistance training enhances muscle mass and helps with bone density. Now, you have a lot of flexibility in how you approach resistance and strength training.
If you already go to the gym a lot, it could mean hitting the machines more.
If you draw motivation from groups, you could sign up for a dumbbell class.
If you have a home gym, you could customize your routines based on resistance bands, your own body, or other equipment you have.
Regardless of how you do it, do it. As we age our bodies begin to break down the extra muscle mass we put on in our 20s if we do not use it. The loss of lean (muscle) mass plays into the lower BMR, and increases our chances of putting on fat mass.
In short, lift weights. Keep the muscle. Keep the metabolism a bit higher.
2. Save Time With Prepared Routines
Save time by not having to think up routines on your own. I have a few on this site, but you can easily find them anywhere. The internet is full of them. You can find workouts by day and body part. There are also home workout ideas and time-saver routines. Just make sure it is balanced and gives each muscle group the time they need to be retained or grown.
If you like to plan ahead, you can plan your daily workouts months in advance. Professionals often have their entire year planned out in advance. Reduces the overall stress of getting to the gym and having no idea what to do.
Knowing they are there may make you more likely to follow through, too. If you’re more of the spontaneous type, you can choose a pre-baked workout on the spot.
Plus, pre-planning them helps you reach goals much easier when you are programmed to reach them.
3. Warm Up Thoroughly
Staying fit in your 30s means devoting more time to stretching and warming up properly. Your joints are stiffer. They and your muscles need ample time to limber up. Stretching and warming up prevent injuries, too.
I remember being able to eat like I did above, down a half a case of beer, stay up until 2-3am, and still somehow make it through the 5am 10 mile runs. Not anymore!
Spend a good 5-10 minutes walking or jogging to warm up. Then, throw in another 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching before you even get to the workout. Your body will thank you and your risk of injury will be greatly reduced.
4. Stick With What You Enjoy
Exercising and moving around is better than doing nothing. Keep doing the stuff you enjoy, whether it is tennis, hiking, biking, gardening, or something else. Just do a couple of sessions of resistance and strength training a week on the side or incorporate them into your fun stuff if it doesn’t dampen the merriment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults perform a mix of muscle-strengthening and aerobic activity at least two days a week. The CDC urges people to work on their legs, back, hips, chest, shoulders, arms, and abs.
Now, the CDC recommendations are a bare minimum, so if you can: Do more. Personally I lift 5 days a week with 2 or so of those days also incorporating 10 mins or so of cardio at the end, plus one day dedicated solely to cardio. This is on top of my usual daily routine, chores, work, etc. Stick with what works for you and get a bit better every day.
5. Start Small
Don’t stress if kids, work, marriage, or other issues have thrown your fitness routine out of whack. Restarting may seem overwhelming, so take small steps. Working out in 10-minute increments is an excellent beginning. Anything that gets you moving is amazing, even if it’s taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work or parking farther away when you drive.
A big part of staying fit in your 30s is focusing more on strength training. You can continue doing the aerobic activities you enjoy as long as you target your major muscle groups (whether separately or part of the aerobic activities).
Let Us help You Out
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Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.
We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement