As socrates once posited ‘it’s a shame…to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which the body is capable’. And you know, we think the old guy might’ve been on to something. Exercise in your thirties is so much more than getting buff, unlocking your untapped strength and appearing on Love Island as the silver fox or vixen card. It can also help you lead a healthier, happier and more balanced life as you transition into a more settled, sometimes sedate existence. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL reasons exercise is increasingly important in your 30’s.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT

As we get older, it becomes easier to pile on the pounds. This is because as we age, we tend to become more inactive and our metabolisms slow. Fortunately, the expectation to look trim seems to recede in time with our hairlines, but that shouldn’t mean we should neglect exercise in our 30’s. Quite the opposite, in fact. Seeing as most adults spend an average of 9.5 hours a day sitting down, and that increases to 11 hours by the time they reach the age of 75, it’s imperative to keep active to arrest the negative effects of an increasingly leading sedentary lifestyle.

Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, is the best (some would say only) way to maintain a healthy, fighting weight whether it’s achieved through running, swimming, or calisthenics. Keeping your weight stable and healthy is the key to mental and physical wellbeing later down the line.

IMPROVE HEART HEALTH…

Though we wouldn’t want to cramp your style with morbid predictions of the not too distant future, heart disease continues to be one of the leading causes of death for those in their thirties. Fortunately, exercise can considerably lower the risk of problems in that department. Regular cardiovascular (clue’s in the title) exercise, in particular, has not only been shown to improve this vital muscle but it can actually reverse existing damage. Individuals who regularly participate in this form of activity not only strengthen their heart but their other muscles will see an increase in growth over time. Check out our 5 IDEAL tips on keeping your heart healthy over here.

…& SEXUAL PERFORMANCE

Erectile dysfunction (ED) and other sexual problems don’t only occur in older people. Indeed, a survey by men’s wellness brand Numan found that almost 60% of men between the ages of 25 and 30 have experienced erectile dysfunction.

Obesity – which is mainly caused by a lack of exercise and a poor diet – is associated with a higher risk of physical issues surrounding sex as well as a decreased libido. This is because obesity is linked to cardiovascular disease. This wreaks havoc on erections because they impede and restrict the flow of blood to the penis. 

Exercise can prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of developing ED. One reason for this is because aerobic exercise lowers blood pressure. Aerobic exercise (jogging, football, basketball – anything that gets your heart rate up) not only prevents damage to the blood vessels by maintaining a healthy blood pressure, but it also increases NO production – resulting in stronger sexual perfomance.

MANAGE STRESS 

Life tends to get more stressful as you head into your thirties. Kids, commitments, jobs, taxes – the responsibility of managing them all can leave you feeling a bit burnt out. It goes without saying that high levels of stress simply aren’t good for you. Stress can have mental and physical effects on the body if it is severe enough. These effects include: 

  • Headache/migraine 
  • Anxiety 
  • Fatigue 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Irritability/anger 
  • Sleep problems

Exercise is an effective way to combat this stress and the physical and mental conditions it engenders. Research has shown that exercise can reduce fatigue, sharpen alertness and concentration and improve overall cognitive function. Not only that, but exercise releases endorphins – natural chemicals in the brain which act as painkillers – that help relieve the effects of stress. Endorphins also improve sleep and boost mood, both of which help to alleviate the symptoms of stress. Aerobic exercise, in particular, has been shown to reduce tension, regulate mood, and assuage anxiety. 

A HEALTHY WAY TO SOCIALISE

Yep, we get it. In your thirties, the opportunities to socialise tend to dwindle, reserved for either ‘play dates’ with the little ones, or unhealthy, excessive binging on the booze to make up for all that time you’ve lost tending to your responsibilities as a grown up. There is another way, and you guessed it, it’s exercise. Hitting the gym, going for a bike ride or run, or having a game of tennis, for instance, can encourage you to get out there and catch up with friends, but in a positive, good-for-you way. And we’re all after that, right?

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