Your Body Goes Through Big
Changes at Age 30 -- Top 7 Ways
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October 23, 2016
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

The big 3-0: you may not look much different to how you
did in your late 20s but your body is facing some massive
changes. When you hit your 30s you can expect a slower
metabolism, loss of muscle mass, and even bone loss.

The good news? You can feel like you’re in the prime of
your life! With some attention to the big body changes you’
ll experience, you can have a happy, healthy third decade
that also really makes a difference to how healthily you age.

How Does Your Body Change in Your 30s?

It’s commonly believed that you don’t need to worry about
the signs of aging until at least your 40s or 50s. What many
people don’t know is that your body begins to change
when you’re 30, and some of these changes can
dramatically affect your current and future health.

For example, you experience hormonal changes that affect
your menstrual cycle and your fertility levels begin to
change. Your metabolism begins to slow, meaning it is
easier and easier to put on weight and less easy to lose it.
You lose crucial muscle mass, and bone loss begins to be a
problem. Your hair may start to thin.

And, less dramatically but just as worryingly, you can start
noticing small lines and wrinkles start to form on your skin:
your skin begins to lose elasticity and you can see the
effect of too many hours spent in the sun.
But you do not have to accept that these changes mean a
less-healthy you. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle you can
minimize the impact and improve your wellbeing in your

What Can You Do to Be Healthy at 30?

Since you may notice that you’re putting on a bit more
weight, it makes sense to shift your fitness and nutrition to
take back control.

Increase your physical activity and make good nutrition a
priority. Move your body as often as you can – don’t get
bored with a dull routine; shift it up by taking different
fitness classes, sign up with a personal trainer, hike, swim,
join a sports team, do fitness DVDs at home, or simply walk

It all makes a difference in your 30s.

Add strength training to help protect your bones and
maintain good posture. And try to maintain a lifestyle that
gives you time to relax and avoid excess stress.

We looked at the main ways your body changes at 30, and
what this means to your health.

Your Metabolism Slows at Age 30

Your highest basal metabolic rate – the number of calories
burned just by living – is highest in your late teens and
early 20s. The American Council on Exercise says after this
your basal metabolic rate falls around one to two percent
each decade.

At 30, you start to notice you can’t eat like you did before
without putting on pounds. And many people settle into
sedentary jobs and lifestyles when they reach 30,
compounding the metabolism problem.

You Also Lose Muscle Mass at 30

Age-related muscle loss is a natural part of growing older.
It is called "
sarcopenia" and it begins to happen after the
age of 30, according to studies such as a 2014 report from
Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in Germany which
also points to the decline of muscle strength after the age
of 30.

When you hit 30 you begin to lose as much as 3 percent to
5 percent of your muscle per decade.

Less muscle means lower mobility and greater weakness,
which can lead to falls and increased risk of fracture.

A 2015 study from the American Society for Bone and
Mineral Research showed that people with sarcopenia had
a 2.3-times greater risk of fracture from a fall than those
without significant muscle loss.

But you don’t have to suffer this loss – keeping your
muscles active with strength training will help to preserve
muscle mass and help keep you stable and active.

Your Skin Changes at Age 30...The Bloom Is Off the Rose

You may not see significant changes in your skin in your
early 30s but you could notice some fine lines and your skin
looks a little duller.

As you get closer to 40, you notice skin changes much

A 1998 study from the University Medical Center in Liège,
Belgium shows the “significant decline in elasticity with
ageing… which becomes obvious in women approaching 40
years.” The International Dermal Instituté also says that
the cell turnover in the skin slows from 30 to 50 percent as
you move from your 30s to your 80s.

This means distinctly less-fresh looking skin.

Bone Loss Begins at Age 30

Studies such as a 1982 report by Riggs BL, Wahner HW,
Seeman E, et al show that from age 30-40, bone loss

Up until the age of around 30, bone mass keeps growing
until you reach peak bone mass at around this age.

You may not experience significant bone loss until
menopause, but it helps to keep your bone mass high in
your 30s to minimize the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
You need plenty of calcium and aerobic weight-bearing
exercise throughout your 30s.

Your Brain Is Probably Fully Mature By Now

You may think that your brain developed fully many years
ago, but experts actually believe it continues developing
right up into your 30's.

A 2010 study from University College London in the UK
says your brain is not mature until your 30's, which
contradicts commonly held knowledge that the brain stops
developing in childhood.

Your 30's are a Crucial Decade for Your Heart

If you slipped into unhealthy habits in your 20s don’t panic
– you can turn it around at age 30 and build big heart

A 2014 study from Northwestern University Feinberg
School of Medicine says if you drop unhealthy habits in
your 30's, you can potentially reverse that natural
progression of coronary heart disease.

"It's not too late," says Dr. Bonnie Spring, the lead
researcher.  “You're not doomed if you've hit young
adulthood and acquired some bad habits. You can still make
a change and it will have a benefit for your heart."

In the study researchers looked at healthy lifestyle
behaviors and coronary artery disease signs in over 5,000
people taking part in the Coronary Artery Risk Development
in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.

These people were assessed when they were aged 18 to
30, and then reassessed 20 years later.

Healthy lifestyle habits mean keeping a healthy body
weight, not smoking, taking part in at least 30 minutes
exercise five times a week, having no more than one
alcoholic drink a day for women and two for men, and
eating a healthy diet.

7. Your Ability to Have a Baby Declines at Age 30 – But
How Rapidly?

You’ve no doubt heard that leaving it until your 30s to start
a family risks not having a family at all. It is true your
fertility begins to decline at age 30, but by how much?

One oft-cited statistic is that one out of three women over
the age of 35 will not have conceived after one year of
actively trying.

However, studies show that the data behind this statistic
actually come from 1700s France, where church birth
records were used to come up with this statistic, according
to psychologist Jean Twenge, at San Diego State University.

The disadvantage of using these figures is, naturally, that
women today have much better access to healthcare, better
diets, and better living conditions. The advantage of taking
figures from this time is that there are no confusing factors
of birth control to take into account.

Different studies paint a different picture, including a 2004
study by David Dunson which states that 82 percent of
women aged between 35 and 39 conceived within a year.
While fertility does decline with age, it appears that it does
so less quickly than many people fear.


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