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6 Changes You Need to Make to Your Workout When You Hit 30

A lifetime of exercise will help you live longer. As you age, it is important to stay physically active if you want to stay slim and strong. You will also reduce your risk of developing chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But, when you turn 30, it is important that you make some changes to your workout routine if you want to get the most benefits.

Liz Barnett, a personal trainer in New York City, states, “Most people in their 30s live more sedentary lives than they did in their 20s—a lot more time sitting at desks and commuting to work. Those long work hours coupled with the responsibilities of adulthood and starting families leave less time for fitness than ever before.” On top of that, your metabolism begins to slow, which can lead to putting on a few extra pounds.

Make the most of your time and burn the most calories by following these tips from Barnett and other trainers to help you stay healthy and fit.

1. High Intensity Interval Training.

This type of training, often referred to as HIIT training involves alternating 20 seconds of intense work like squats, push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers or lunges, with 10 second periods of rest. Perform 8 rounds of these intervals, and you will get a terrific workout in only about 4 minutes. This type of workout will boost your metabolism and give your cardiovascular system a kick. Add a 20-minute cardio session for even better results.

2. Make a plan.

Once you turn 30, you will find that it is more important than ever to make a plan and stick to it. Holly Del Rosso, a personal trainer in San Francisco, states, in your 20s, you might have gotten away with doing lower-body workouts 2 days in a row, or running 7 miles Monday and Tuesday. In your 30s, it is important to focus on balancing your workouts so you’re hitting different body parts each workout. This way you aren’t overworking a specific muscle group, which can cause injury.” Having a plan can make you know what you are doing each day, and this means that you can more easily stick to the plan.

3. Become less competitive.

Although this may go against your best judgment, avoiding highly competitive activities can be better for you. When you turn 30, your risk of injury increases, especially if you have cut back on your consistency and intensity of exercise. Del Rosso states, “While it’s great to use a group class, say, as motivation, it’s important to pace yourself and work at your fitness level."

4. Make time for recovery.

As you age, it becomes more difficult to bounce back from your workouts. Sometimes this comes from working out too intensely, but other times it may be from other choices, like having a few too many cocktails the night before. Getting enough rest is critical to your progress and your fitness. Meghan Kennihan, a personal trainer in LaGrange, Illinois, states, “Not only is your body changing as you get older, with cell turnover not happening as fast as it once did, but all of those other demands and stressors in your life contribute to the slower recovery process.” It’s important to make sure that you include plenty of recovery, like foam rollers or yoga. Listen to your body to make sure you are sticking to your limits.

5. Add weight lifting.

Muscle mass declines with age, and most people lose about 1% of their muscle mass each year, beginning in their 30s. Jake Boly, a personal trainer in Hempstead, NY, states, “Lifting weights in your 30s will tend to lead to healthier bones and stronger muscles, while benefitting other physiological systems that tend to decrease as we age.” Muscle mass helps to burn fat, and this can help you fight the extra pounds that can accumulate each year.

6. Work on range of motion.

It is important to maintain a healthy range of motion as you age. Sarah Ann Kelly, a personal trainer in Santa Monica, CA, states, “I tell my 30-something clients to add more motion to their movements.” Make the most of your movements, like squatting further down or making your pushups more effective. Kelly states, “This helps you recruit more of your muscle fibres, so you’ll build stronger, more metabolically active muscles and will be less prone to injuries when you do things like lift groceries or your kids.”

Staying active is important, but pay attention to your body and make the changes that you need to stay fit and healthy as you age.