It’s no secret that our bodies change as we get older—depressing but true. Wrinkles spring up where they didn’t exist before, hangovers increase by tenfold, and parts of our bodies ache that we didn’t even know existed before. Since there’s not a trick to help you stay young forever (yet!), arming ourselves with mind/body best practices remains the best preparation for embracing inevitable physical change from an educated standpoint. We’re all about living a happy, youthful life at any age, and the easiest way to do that is to ensure your body is in tip-top shape. With that in mind, we’ve tapped five fitness experts (over age 30) to find out which preventive tips you can begin to incorporate into your routine now before you hit the big 3-0. Keep scrolling to see what they said.
“Throughout our twenties, there is so much growth, change, excitement, and stress. Gentle, calming practices like yoga reduce anxiety, depression, and exhaustion and protect from disease later in life. Adding a restorative and meditative practice to your routine is essential.” — Samantha Garrison, Yogala owner
Not sold on yoga? We can’t get enough of Babar’s Yoga for Elephants ($8). It’ll win anyone over, plus it has some great illustrations of poses you can try at home (or in the office with your door closed).
“One of the hardest things to come to terms with is the slowing of your metabolism. Start strength training now; creating dense muscles to burn more calories during and after your workouts helps to counteract a sluggish metabolism.” — Jenn Lacy, Bar Method Silver Lake co-owner
“Make yourself a priority no matter how crazy things get with demands from work, school, etc., and set aside a minimum of three hours a week to work out. Start looking at your workout as a reward, not a punishment for overeating or slacking off. Fitness is a lot more fun when you approach it from a healthy, positive state of mind. On days when you feel sluggish or unmotivated, think about the endgame. Will a workout make you feel better or worse? The answer is generally better.” — Mary Helen Bowers, Ballet Beautiful founder and CEO
Try using an app to track your performance, or wear a Nike Fuel Band SE ($180). Sometimes seeing your progress is motivation enough to keep moving.
“With age, we lose the ability to stay upright and to protect ourselves from falls—something you’re not thinking about in your twenties. Employ a practice at least twice a week that focuses on improving your balance. Balance gives us our ability to stand. Equally, strengthening and lengthening all of the muscles in the body will help the body achieve balancing skills so the body functions easily through everyday activities. Standing balance protects joints and knees from injury—this becomes increasingly important as we get older.” — Leslie, White Cloud Pilates West owner
“Stretching is essential before and after you work out—which you should regularly do. Post thirty, gravity isn’t your friend, so it’s important to start incorporating fitness regularly early on. Stretching will warm up the muscles and protect you from becoming sore, post-workout. It should be part of your day, just like waking up, brushing your teeth, and hitting the gym.” — Ilana Kugel, Koral Activewear creative director
What’s your workout routine? Do you agree that you feel better emotionally and physically after exercising? Sound off below!
This story was originally published on October 28, 2015, and has since been updated.