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Our thirties and forties are the years when we are at the peak of our career and neck deep in familial responsibilities; life is really busy and in top gear. Balancing work, family, friends, we are playing multiple roles and multi-tasking. While doing this tight rope walk, one thing we must not forget is our health. Because now, ageing has slowly set in, and our body will need a little extra attention to keep it fit than it did in our twenties.


How your body changes

So what exactly happens in these years? In your twenties your body is at the peak of its fitness; in your thirties the first subtle signs of ageing begin to show. Flexibility, muscle strength and stamina begin to decline. This is because now your lifestyle has become more sedentary and muscles have slowly begun to age. Also starting in your 30s, your body's ability to extract and circulate oxygen from your blood begins to diminish and slowly your aerobic capacity begins to decline. As you age, your body requires fewer calories and hence unhealthy weight gain becomes easy.

Women have some additional set of worries. Past the age of 35, fertility begins to decline and there is an increased risk of birth defects, miscarriage and pregnancy difficulties. Also, beyond 35 bone density begins to decline. Losing too much bone mass now increases your risk of osteoporosis in your 50s. While actual menopause sets in the late 40s or early 50s, hormonal changes leading up to menopause begin in the late 30s. These may manifest in the form of changes in menstrual cycle and mood alterations.

For both men and women, the stress of your responsibilities coupled with your body's decreasing physical coping capacity can increase your risk of heart diseases.


While you can't stop ageing completely, through preventive fitness and lifestyle changes you can delay its onset. Preserving your health in your 30s and 40s is critical because the quality of your silver years largely depends on it. If you let ageing have its way now, life beyond the 50s will no doubt be tough.

  • As your body now needs fewer calories, keep a check on your diet.
  • Cut down on excessively fried, salty and sugary food.
  • Make sure you get all your vitamins and minerals. After consulting with your doctor you could also start with a daily multi vitamin.
  • Women should eat a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and folic acid.
  • Both men and women should do stretching, weight training and cardio exercises to maintain their flexibility, muscle strength and heart health respectively. Consult a doctor and a physical trainer and draw up a suitable exercise regimen.
  • Women should get their mammograms and pap smear tests done as per medical convention.
  • If you fall into the high-risk group for diabetes or heart diseases or any medical condition due to family history or lifestyle factors, get the relevant tests done periodically.
  • Do not neglect any ailments or drastic changes in your body.
  • Women should ideally have babies before 35.

The most important thing for you to remember at this stage is that you can keep others happy only if you are happy. So, while you are taking care of office work, your family etc. remember you have to first take care of yourself. Give yourself time to relax, to meditate and to enjoy leisure. Small changes in your lifestyle can help you cope up with the pressure of these years.

  • Learn to relax. Stress is the biggest culprit in ageing. Pursuing a hobby, periodic vacations, meditation, spending time with family and friends will help you ease your stress levels. Avoid bringing your office tensions home.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Spend time with your children. Now is the time to build those ever-lasting bonds. If you wait for your 50s to spend time with them, they will probably be gone for higher education or career purposes.
  • Stretching at your desk and getting up from your seat after every hour and walking for five minutes are simple things you can do in office to ease your muscle tension.
  • If you haven't created a retirement plan in your twenties, it's a must 'to do' now.
  • Focus on paying off debts.
  • Continue learning. Research has shown that mental activity, new challenges help in keeping our brain active. Engage in activities that require social, physical and emotional skills. Gardening, social work, joining a social/hobby club etc.
  • Stop smoking.

Thirties and forties are about finding the right balance - a balance between personal and professional life, a balance between investing and paying off debts and a balance between health and time among many others. Focus your attention inwards, on your spiritual, emotional and physical needs to find the balance that you are looking for.


Health Initiative from KS Oils