Longevity To-Do List for Your 30s

Your 30s are busy. You may have kids, a marriage, a career. How you maintain your health and well-being during your 30s will largely determine your health for the rest of your life. If you can keep a healthy weight, eat right, de-stress, exercise and more — you be looking at more than half a century of disease-free living. Get started today.


Maintain Your Proper Weight

couple exercising together

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It will be easier to work on weight loss in your 30s than it will be in your 40s and beyond. This is primarily because with increasing age, your metabolism and lean muscle mass will decrease, leading to easier weight gain and harder weight loss. Make a pledge to yourself to get to your 40th birthday at a healthy weight. Focus on developing healthy eating habits.


Prioritize Your Exercise

We understand: you're busy. You may not think you have time to exercise. But, if you start exercising regularly, you'll be more efficient at your work, and you will feel better. It's true — you'll have more energy, you'll sleep better, you'll be more creative (from sleeping better) and you'll get more done.

Try working exercise into your schedule for 2 weeks. We bet everything will still get done (and you will feel better, too).


Learn to Sleep

Sleep is a healthy thing. Spend time in your 30s building strong sleep skills. Learn how to fall asleep within 30 minutes of hitting the pillow. Take action to make sure you get enough sleep every night and be sure to see a healthcare provider if you think you might have a sleep problem or disorder. Not getting enough sleep not only affects your body—by, for example, increasing stress which can lead to compulsive eating and weight gain—it affects how well you work and how much you enjoy life.


Find a Relaxation Practice

When was the last time you truly, deeply relaxed? Relaxation should be a part of your daily life. If you can find a way to turn off your stress for a while, you may prevent many of the stress-related illnesses. This is important. If you can establish a strong relaxation habit, you will improve how you feel in the present and reduce your risk for many illnesses in the future. Try yoga and meditation, which can both be used to induce relaxation.


Eat Your Vegetables

Here's a simple rule for healthy eating — eat plants. Vegetables and fruits are the best things for your body. Nutrition advice now seems to focus on protein and carbs, fats and vitamins — but the best things you can eat are fruits and vegetables. Vegetarians have the healthiest arteries and a low risk for heart disease (the number one killer in the U.S.). Get started eating your vegetables for healthy aging and a strong heart.


Start Screening and Testing

Time to start screenings and testing. Don't think that just because you are "only" 30 you are not at risk for illnesses. Diabetes, high blood pressure and other lifestyle illnesses may be already starting in your body. You need to catch them fast and take action now to reduce them. You also need to get a few screenings, especially if you have a family history of cancer or heart disease. Time to talk to your healthcare provider about prevention, and make (and keep) those appointments.


Master Time

The United States is an overweight, stressed-out nation. The reason? Time. We are terrible with time. We try to do too much and when we feel pressured, we don't eat right and we skip exercise. Do a time assessment in your 30s. Do you feel relaxed, like there is plenty of time for everything? If your answer is no then you need to eliminate some things in order to be more efficient. Television, cell phones, the Internet and social media are usually big time sucks. Make an effort now to master time and your stress level will drop — leaving you to age healthfully and reduce your risk for chronic illnesses.


Maintain Friendships

Feeling connected and needed can boost your health. Your immune system works better, you have more social resources available if you need help and you even develop fewer chronic illnesses when you are older.

Having friends and good relationships can do this for you. Your 30s can be hard on friendships — you are busy with career, kids, and marriage (and your friends are busy with the same things, too). Maintain those friendships. Make time to talk on the phone, get together over the weekend and go on that trip.


Know Your Health History

No one is going to take care of your health for you. You need to know your medical history, your risk factors, and your medications. Set up a system to track your information now. This system will help you (and your healthcare provider) quickly understand any problems that come up in the future, prevent errors in treatment and diagnosis, and help decide what preventative tests you may need. Start with getting a family medical history and recording your own history, too.


Balance Home and Work

Your 30s are when your career might really take off. It is also when you might be having kids and a marriage (or a serious relationship). Striking a balance between your home life and your work life is critical. Take some time to sit back and reflect. Are things in balance? Do changes need to be made? Getting it right can reduce a tremendous amount of stress in your life.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Exercising for Better Sleep.

  2. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Relaxation Techniques for Health.

  3. Kahleova H, Levin S, Barnard ND. Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Cardiovascular Disease. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018;61(1):54-61. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2018.05.002

  4. Cacioppo S, Capitanio JP, Cacioppo JT. Toward a neurology of lonelinessPsychol Bull. 2014;140(6):1464–1504. doi:10.1037/a0037618

By Mark Stibich, PhD
Mark Stibich, PhD, FIDSA, is a behavior change expert with experience helping individuals make lasting lifestyle improvements.