These days, your schedule may be jam-packed, thanks to your flourishing career or a new baby. And often socialising, exercise and preparing healthy meals are neglected. The result? Research shows that women tend to gain weight in their 30s, setting the stage for chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Put your friends on speed dial
Remember when you had time to meet up for a movie after work, or go away for a weekend on a whim? Even though you have more pressing priorities lately, it’s still important to connect with friends. ‘Having a strong network is essential for your overall wellbeing,’ says Dr Brent Agin, co-author of Healthy Ageing for Dummies. To stay connected, schedule a regular girls’ night, at least once a month.
Try your hand at something new
‘Starting in your 20s, you lose about seven percent of your brain agility every decade. The blood flow and nerve connections decrease, slowing down your thinking process,’ explains Dr Vincent Fortanasce, author of The Anti-Alzheimer’s Prescription. But the good news is that every time you learn something, the nerve cells in your brain form new connections. By simply stimulating your mind regularly, you can slash your risk of dementia in half, according to a study in Psychological Medicine.
Improve your partnership
‘Frequent conflicts are a form of chronic stress, which can weaken your immune system and raise blood pressure,’ says Professor Jason Newsom, an associate professor of community health. To keep your household harmonious, tell your partner how much you appreciate him. One study found that people who frequently thanked their mates for little things, like taking out the rubbish, were more likely to say they were satisfied with their marriage.
Put it in writing
Of course you’re busy, but that’s all the more reason to keep tabs on overeating and mindless munching. In fact, research shows that keeping a food diary is the best tool for maintaining your waistline. What’s more, many women in their 30s also struggle with shedding baby weight, which can be an uphill battle. The average mom weighs 6kg more than she did pre-pregnancy, even 9 years after giving birth.