Staying active and eating well is vital through every stage of life. Here’s how to health-proof your next decade
"Being organised and staying on top of meal planning is critical to keep you focused on health"
Our bodies change constantly throughout our lives, and so too does our focus. Every decade has its own challenges, so nutrition expert Lisa Donaldson and fitness lead Tim Pittorino offer tips on staying healthy and strong through each phase of life.
This decade is often about socialising, studying and self-discovery, which means parties, alcohol and fast food. Your goal is to focus on eating nutritious foods, while still having a good time. Don’t get caught up on quick fixes or celebrity diets, and don’t replace a balanced meal with alcohol. Learn to cook.
Set up habits to last a lifetime. Build strength by doing regular and resistance training such as push ups, dips, and lifting weights. From age 27 to 33 your bone density starts decreasing, so the higher you build up your base, the longer it takes to go down.
For many, the 30s is busy as working parents or singles with a big focus on career. Being organised and staying on top of meal planning is critical to keep you focused on health. A weekly bulk cook-up will save time and make your day to day easier.
Maintaining strength and building your fitness is crucial. Your metabolism, naturally high in your bulletproof 20s, will slow down, so keep up weight training. Stay in a healthy range with a calorie-controlled diet.
You’re usually juggling many demands of home, children, work, parents, so stress management is necessary. Choose foods (blueberries) high in antioxidants and pack a nutritional punch. Eat salmon and nuts for healthy fats.
As the family grows so too your financial demands. Getting a regular routine of exercise is essential to maintaining a hectic pace and for stress relief.
For many, this decade will include weight gain, so watch your portions, especially women going through menopause. Keep hydrated with two litres of water per day and pack a water bottle wherever you go.
Your mantra is ‘move it or lose it’. Prioritise fitness with more planned activities. Cycling and swimming are easier on joints, and keep up the pelvic floor exercises. Make exercise fun and pleasurable.
Bone health is crucial. Ensure an adequate intake of calcium-rich foods to ward off osteoporosis and arthritis. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help prevent medications, diseases and conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Focus on maintenance for flexibility, fitness and strength. Different, safer activities such as bush walking, rather than road running, or weight training to keep up strength are best.