10 CHANGES TO MAKE IN YOUR 30s that will set you up for lifelong success

10 CHANGES TO MAKE IN YOUR 30s that will set you up for lifelong success

June 17
12:43 2013

Many people spend their 20s getting some unhealthy behaviours out of their system — like sleeping until 2pm on Saturdays and spending all their disposable cash on new kicks.

But your 30s are an ideal time to cement the habits that will help you achieve personal and professional fulfilment for the rest of your life.

To give you a head start, we sifted through recent Quora threads on this critical life transition and highlighted the most compelling responses.

Here are 10 lifestyle tweaks you can make in your 30s to lay the foundation for lifelong success:

  1. Stop smoking.

If you’ve started smoking, stop immediately, suggests Quora user Cyndi Perlman Fink.

While you can’t undo the damage you may have already incurred from smoking, research suggests that those who quit before age 40 have a 90% lower mortality risk than those who continue.

  1. Start going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.

It might be tempting to use the weekends to recoup your sleep debt, but Nan Waldman recommends you hit the hay and wake up around the same time every single day.

If you oversleep for even a few days, experts say you risk resetting your body clock to a different cycle, so you’ll start getting tired later in the day. Avoid a lifetime of sleep issues by sticking to bedtime and wakeup routines whenever you can.

  1. Start exercising regularly.

“Try to move yourself as much as possible,” says Alistair Longman. “It doesn’t matter if it’s walking, cycling, running, weightlifting, hiking, swimming — as long as it involves some movement.”

In the later half of your 30s, you start losing muscle mass, so it’s especially important to exercise at this time. But remember to choose physical activities you really love, since you’re less likely to continue exercising if you dislike your workouts.

  1. Start keeping a journal.

“Journal your life! Your written records will entertain and endear in your future,” writes Mark Crawley.

Even if you’d prefer to keep your musings to yourself, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you deal with stressful events.

  1. Start saving money.

“Building the habit of saving early means you’ll continue it further down the line,” says Cliff Gilley.

It might seem like your golden years are a lifetime away, but the earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to accrue interest.

  1. Start pursuing a life dream.

“Don’t delay pursuing your life goals,” writes Bill Karwin. “Want to buy a house? Have kids? Write a book? Pick one of those life goals and get started. What can you do between now and the end of the year to embark on one of them?”

  1. Start learning to be happy with what you have.

“If you are content with what you have, you will have a happier life,” says Robert Walker.

It’s really about gratitude: Research suggests that appreciating what you have can increase happiness and decrease negative feelings. Perhaps that’s why Oprah Winfrey kept a daily gratitude journal for years.

  1. Stop thinking you need to satisfy everyone.

“After I reached 30, I stopped feeling the need to please everyone. You can choose your friends and contacts more carefully,” says Kevin Teo. In particular, Teo realised he wasn’t obligated to be nice to people who were unfriendly toward him.

Whether you decide to whittle down your Facebook friends to a mere 500 or simply hang out more with the people who make you happy, it’s important to invest your time and energy wisely.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others.

“If you are unable to do some things in life compared to your siblings and friends, then please be at peace with yourself,” advises Mahesh Kay. “Don’t be harsh on yourself.”

As one psychotherapist writes, constantly peering over your shoulder to see what others are doing doesn’t help you accomplish your goals. You’d be better off spending time thinking about what you want to achieve and evaluating your progress on those fronts.

  1. Start forgiving yourself for your mistakes.

“Forgive yourself your mistakes. We all make plenty of them. Don’t dwell on the errors of the past — learn from them, let them go, and move ahead,” writes Liz Palmer.

One social psychologist says that self-compassion (the ability to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes) is the key driver of success. That’s likely because people who practice self-compassion see their weaknesses as changeable and try to avoid making the same errors in the future.

‘The age on your birth certificate may say one thing, but your heart age could be saying something quite different’

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

People’s hearts are ageing “faster than their owners”, according to a worrying new study by Bupa.

The global health and care company released results from a survey of over 8,000 consumers who had undergone a heart age check, which calculates the user’s heart age based on personal health details like blood pressure, family medical history and lifestyle risk factors.

Among the respondents, occupation was reported to affect the average difference between physical age and heart age.

The jobs with the best heart health

  • Medicine
  • Teaching
  • Accountancy, banking and finance
  • IT and information services
  • Retail and sales

Jobs with the worst heart health

  • Manual labour
  • Transport and logistics
  • Property and construction
  • Charity work
  • Energy and utilities

The industries pioneering health and wellbeing initiatives were found to have better heart health among their employees. The  most meaningful improvement to heart age was through healthy eating options, where respondents saw an average heart age decrease of one year.

Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation commented: “The age on your birth certificate may say one thing, but your heart age could be saying something quite different. We urge employers to put a focus on creating heart-healthy environments to help their employees bring down their ‘heart age’.”

Dr. Fiona Adshead, Chief Wellbeing and Public Health Officer at Bupa, added: “If current trends continue, by 2030 more than 23 million people will die annually from cardiovascular disease[2], yet this research shows that there is huge potential for employers to help improve their employees’ health – not only reaping the benefits of a healthy workforce, but also tackling the heart disease epidemic facing the world.

Regularly working late at the office can increase chances of stroke and heart disease, says study

Working 55 hours or more a week can increase the chances of suffering a stroke by a third compared to those working 40 hours or less

Working late at the office on a regular basis can increase the risk of having a stroke or heart disease, a study has found.

Scientists found that working 55 hours or more a week can increase the chances of suffering a stroke by a third compared to the risk for people who work the regular 40 hours or less.

The researchers also found a significant but smaller increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, which was 13 per cent more likely in people who worked long hours compared to the normal working week.

An analysis of 17 previously published studies on nearly 530,000 men and women who were followed for an average period of 7.2 years found they were 33 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke if they worked 55 hours or more compared with people who worked 40 hours or less per week.

The link still existed even when individual differences in factors such as smoking, drinking and physical activity were taken into account. Importantly, the longer people worked each week, the greater the risk they run, with those working between 41 and 48 hours having a 10 higher risk of stroke and those working 49 to 54 hours having a 27 per cent increased risk.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet, also looked at data gathered by 25 previous studies involving more than 600,000 men and women in Europe, the US and Australia who were monitored for an average of 8.5 years. It found a 13 per cent increased risk of heart disease for workers who put in 55 hours or more each week compared with those who worked the standard 40 hours or less.

“The pooling of all available studies on this topic allowed us to investigate the association between working hours and cardiovascular disease risk with greater precision than has previously been possible,” said Professor Mika Kivimaki of University College London, the lead author of the study.

“Health professionals should be aware that working long hours is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, and perhaps also coronary heart disease,” he said.

The findings did not vary between men and women or between geographical regions and did not depend on the method of diagnosing strokes, which together suggest that the findings are “robust”, the researchers said.

Writing on the implications of the results, the researchers concluded: “Employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours; the association with coronary heart disease is weaker. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the management of vascular risk factors in individuals who work long hours.”

The reasons for the increased risk of stroke or heart disease cannot be explained, but it may be related to the extra stress of long hours, or unhealthy behaviours linked to long hours such as lack of physical activity or high alcohol consumption, the researchers suggested.

Whatever the reasons, the findings are the strongest indication that there is a causal link between long working hours and strokes, said Urban Janlert of Umea University in Sweden, in a comment article published in The Lancet.

“Long working hours are not a negligible occurrence. Among member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Turkey has the highest proportion of individuals working more than 50 hours per week (43 per cent), and the Netherlands the lowest (less than 1 per cent). For all OECD countries, a mean of 12 per cent of employed men and 5 per cent of employed women work more than 50 hours per week,” Dr Janlert said.

“Although some countries have legislation for working hours –  for example, the EU Working Time Directive gives people the right to limit their average working time to 48 hours per week – it is not always implemented. Therefore, that the length of a working day is an important determinant mainly for stroke, but perhaps also for coronary heart disease, is an important finding,” he said.

Sex does not increase chance of heart attacks, researchers find

A 10-year survey found no evidence to support claims sexual activity could increase risk of cardiovascular problems

Having sex does not increase the risk of another attack, researchers have confirmed.

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology researchers analysed heart attack victims over a ten year period, monitoring their sexual activity.

They found “no increased risk associated with SA [sexual activity] for adverse CVD [cardiovascular disease events],” with researchers keen to “reassure” patients they “need not be worried about SA and should resume their usual SA.”

The review letter seeks to rebut long-running claims having sex following a heart attack can trigger another episode.

It tracked 536 patients, part of a rehabilitation programme following a heart attack (known as a myocardial infarction), who reported on their sexual activity before and after the attack.

Only 0.7 per cent reported having sex in the hour before their attack, with 1.5 per cent having had sex three to five hours prior to the incident.

The researchers, based at Ulm University in Germany, told the Los Angeles Times it was therefore “very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger”.

Their findings also suggested participants who had more sex prior to their first attack were less likely to experience another – however, they were keen to caution these findings as it was suggested these individuals were younger and in better shape than older victims.

The researchers, based at Ulm University in Germany, told the Los Angeles Times it was therefore “very unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger”.

Their findings also suggested participants who had more sex prior to their first attack were less likely to experience another – however, they were keen to caution these findings as it was suggested these individuals were younger and in better shape than older victims.

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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June 2013