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Take control and maximise your workouts in your 30s

Very busy, very important… you know how it goes. Just don’t let exercise drop off the to-do list.

So you’ve turned 30, and all of a sudden you’re not exercising or playing sport like you used to. You’re probably consumed with your own busy life and intent on not missing out on anything. From your career to buying a home, spending time with friends and even starting your own family, your thirties can be exhausting.

The busier you get, the more important it is to find balance and prioritise the things that keep you fighting fit, like exercise, diet, and regular health checks.

Why is exercise more difficult in your thirties?

As you age, your body will experience changes to its shape, muscles, organs and bones. In your 30s, this can include losing lean tissue and muscle (around 3-8% of muscle mass per decade) and density in your bones. Body fat steadily increases and your maximum heart rate and capacity to pump blood can decrease..

As one of the busiest times of our lives, working out isn’t as easy as it used to be but regular exercise can help keep your bones strong, lower your risk of osteoporosis, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure whilst also helping your recover more quickly should you be hospitalised. It can almost feel like you’ve slowed the aging process!

Strength training using weights or your own body weight as resistance can help build muscle and keep your body strong and lean, while running, cycling and many team sports are great cardio options.

READ MORE: Find out what really happens to your body when you turn 30

Tips to stay on track

Life is all about priorities, so find a way to make exercise one of them.

1. Commit to exercise like it’s non-negotiable

Whatever it takes to lock exercise into your schedule, do that.

  • Schedule regular times in your diary for exercise or team sport and set that time as ‘unavailable’.
  • Commit to a pre-paid program or membership if you can afford it – once you’ve handed over your hard-earned cash you’ll want to get something in return.
  • Buddy up with another 30-something friend or partner and pledge to keep each other accountable.
  • Join a team – there’ll be nowhere to hide.

2. See opportunities for exercise everywhere.

When you lead a busy life, the best time to exercise is any time you can! If you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, think about how to squeeze in a quick workout.

  • If you take public transport to work, get off a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Use your lunch break to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise – even if that’s just a few laps around the block.
  • Set your alarm just half an hour early a few days a week and get your workout done before the day starts – you’ll be patting yourself on the back all day.
  • If you absolutely can’t miss that episode of The Bachelor, then get creative and find workouts that you can do in your lounge room while you multitask.

3. Rediscover the fun of (free) exercise!

Working out doesn’t always have to involve hours of gut-busting reps at the gym. It could be a regular morning walk with friends, membership of a community running group or a swim at your local beach. If you find a way to make it fun, you’ll be more inclined to stick to it.

You don’t always need a big budget, either. Mother Nature has kindly provided the great outdoors for DIY fitness, and there are free activities happening all over the place.

If you’re looking for ideas, check out Medibank Free + Active, which offers a range of free, social activities around the country.

4. Get app-tive!

There are countless workout apps that do the thinking for you these days, from 7-minute workouts to 30-day challenges and pilates classes. You’ll give your thumbs a good workout just looking through them all, but apps can be a great source of easy-to-follow workouts and simple exercise programs that you can do at home, or anywhere.

There are so many reasons to make exercise a regular part of your busy life. Feeling great, looking great, being your best self… whatever your motivation is, remember that every little bit counts.

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