HEALTH IN OUR 30s

Being in our 30s can be a whirlwind of growing responsibilities. Juggling work, family and social life, it’s easy to neglect our own health. Decisions we make about our health, fitness and food in our 30s will determine if we hit our 40s trim and fighting fit, or overweight and unhealthy.

HEALTH AWARENESS IN MY 30’s

There are a few things we need to be aware of in our 30s when it comes to our health. Many of us will have picked up bad habits or routines that will have a big impact on our fertility, waistline and health if we don’t make changes now. These can include:

  • Drinking too much too often
  • Smoking and other drugs
  • Overeating, and eating too many takeaways and convenience foods
  • Drinking sugary drinks and energy drinks
  • Not exercising
  • Not seeing a doctor or dentist for a check-up

30’s HEALTH CHECK

Make the time to visit your doctor for a health check-up every couple of years, even if you don’t feel sick. For all the information you need on getting a health check-up, including booking your appointment and what to ask for, download our Men’s Health Check-ups brochure.

These are some of the topics you might want to discuss at your health check.

  • Sexual health and fertility
  • Blood pressure
  • Liver health
  • Diet and exercise
  • Hair loss
  • Cholesterol and heart health
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Man bits and anything unusual
  • Unusual moles or marks on your skin

STEPS TO BETTER HEALTH IN OUR 30’s

There’s a lot we can do in our 30s to change old habits, make new ones, and set ourselves up for a healthier future. And it’s much easier to make those changes now rather than leaving it unil we’re in our 40s. Check out what you can do.

30's check-ups schedule

Blood pressure 2 years
Blood tests & urinalysis 3 years
Eye health 10 years
Flu shot Yearly
Mental health Regularly
Oral health Yearly
Physical exam 3-5 years
STIs Regularly
Skin self exam 1-2 months
Testicle self exam 3 months
Tetanus & diphtheria booster 10 years

WHAT CAN I DO?

When we were in our 20s, we felt like we could eat whatever we wanted, so long as we did a bit of exercise. But now, in our 30s, we are more susceptible to putting on weight, and even developing DIABETES as a result of eating too many sugary foods and drinks. We should be paying attention to what we’re eating. Food is fuel, and has a direct impact on our waistlines, energy levels, performance, and sleep. We’re better off cutting down on takeaways, sugary foods, and bakery food, and trying to eat more food in its natural form, like fresh meat, vegetables, and nuts.

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It can be hard to find the time, particularly if we have young children and full time jobs. But it’s really important, and we need to make it a priority. Taking time for exercise is super good as a stress buster and to gives us a break from work and worry. It’s even better if we can exercise with mates. It keeps us motivated and is a great excuse to have a catch up. So get a babysitter, take turns getting the kids breakfast in the morning, go to the gym in your lunch break – whatever it takes, to make sure you exercise at least a couple of times a week.

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By the time we’re in our 30s, a lot of us have gotten into the daily habit of having a drink after work to unwind. We also drink a lot when we’re socialising. Be kinder to your liver and have a few days off drinking each week. We should also think about why we’re drinking. Is it just a habit, or has it become a dependency on alcohol?

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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are more common than you might think. Genital warts, chlamydia, gonorrhea, lice – all pretty nasty. But worst of all is AIDS. It’s easy to forget about the consequences in the heat of passion, so think about them beforehand. Use condoms and go to a clinic to get yourself checked out for STIs even if you don’t have any physical symptoms. You can get up to 144 condoms on prescription for $5 so ask for them the next time you go to the doctor. Gay or straight, AIDS and STIs don’t discriminate.

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Check your balls in the shower once a month for lumps and changes in size. Testicular cancer is most common in men in our 20s, but we can still be at risk in our 30s. If we get on to it straight away, testicular cancer is easily treatable. If you notice anything unusual with your balls, see a doctor straight away.

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Cigarettes kill us slowly and painfully. Lung cancer is a hideous disease and you really don’t want to get it. So maybe think about cutting down or quitting altogether. If you are still smoking in your 30s, now is the time to quit for good. Marijuana is another popular recreational drug. Don’t forget that it’s illegal though so don’t get caught. And if you’re a regular user, you might be causing yourself damage and robbing yourself of motivation. P or Ice is a drug to stay away from altogether, we’ve all heard the stories. If you want help with drug use and addiction, there’s plenty around, you just need to ask for it.

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If you are going through a rough time, or think one of your mates is, make an effort to start a conversation about it. There are many things that can cause us stress in our 30s: work, relationships, children, infidelity, finances, home maintenance, trying to build a nest egg for our future. These are normal feelings, and talking about them with our mates can help us feel better. Relationship breakups can be particularly stressful. In the months after a breakup, it can take a while to find our feet again – finding a new place to live, getting used to life without that partner, negotiating finances, looking after our children, and trying to keep it all out of court. Don’t keep it to yourself, talk to your mates, tell them what’s going on.

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Make an appointment to see a doctor for a general check-up, even if you’re feeling fit and healthy. You don’t know what you don’t know. Your doctor will do some tests and ask you about health conditions that run in your family. If there is something that needs attention, with your liver, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, heart or lungs, your doctor will alert you. If we catch this stuff in our 30s, we’ve still got time to fix it and get back on track. For all the information you need on getting a health check-up, including booking your appointment and what to ask for, download our Men’s Health Check-ups brochure.

CHECK-UPS BROCHURE

It’s easy to put this off in our 20s and even well into our 30s, but not going to the dentist will catch up on us. Book a check-up with a dentist every year or two. If you haven’t been in a while, book in to have a clean at the same time to remove tartar build up and get rid of that furry feeling and bad morning breath.

If you don’t do it already, start flossing daily and using a mouthwash to keep your teeth and gums in top condition. You can find a dentist near you at Healthpoint.co.nz, or ask your mates who they go to.