5 Health Goals to Check Off Your List (or at Least Attempt To) by Age 30

by Lexi Petronis

Romulo YanesRomulo Yanes

I have a bunch of friends who are turning 30 this year, and they're--well, let's just say they're a little freaked out by it. I totally get it. I felt that way too. But I'm here to tell you--from the other side--that 30 was one of my favorites. And you know what? If you get some of these health habits in line by the big 3-0, you'll know that you have even more ammunition to make this (fabulous, I promise) year the best one yet.

Get more calcium: Until you're about 30, your body is still working on making your bones as strong as they can be--so make sure to get your dose of the recommended 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. (If you're past 30 already, don't fret--you can still prevent bone loss by making sure to get in 1,200 mg daily, preferably through foods such as yogurt, dark leafy greens, cheese, and sardines.)


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Stop smoking: It's not good to light up at any age, of course, but there's something especially interesting about stopping the cigs by your 30th birthday: studies show it could add 10 years to your life. Ten years!

Make exercise a habit: Boo, but your basal metabolism drops 1 to 2 percent every decade once you reach your 30s--so it's easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. So incorporate at least 30 minutes of heart rate-raising exercise about five times a week. Plus, exercise helps reduce the chances of developing things like heart disease--an affliction that experts have seen happening more and more in younger people.

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Remember your skin:
Sun worshippers, take note! Skin cancer isn't just for the elderly. Baking yourself in the sun can lead to melanoma earlier than you might think, so make sure to wear sunscreen every day (even if it's cold and cloudy outside), and schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you notice a mole that's changed in any way (this two-minute check can help immensely!).

Schedule regular appointments with your ob-gyn: In your 30s, your hormones can start to fluctuate, which can cause irregular periods and other things that you're not used to. Having regularly scheduled appointments with your doc can help ease your worries. And, if you want children (no pressure!), fertility usually starts to decline in your 30s, while the risks for things like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure go up.

If you're pre-30, what health goals do you have? And post-30-year-olds-any health advice for the soon-to-be-30s?

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