Age is just a number. When it comes to energy and enterprise, you are as young or old as you chose to be. But it is essential to look after your health and be prepared for the physical changes that accompany ageing. As you grow past 30, you may not feel or look very different from the way you did a few years ago, but your body is changing slowly.
Bone loss begins in the 30s and can lead to bone-thinning later in life. Muscles start losing their ‘tone,’ affecting fitness, strength and balance. To stay fit, plan out an exercise programme, eat a balanced healthy diet, rich in calcium and fresh fruits, use mild cleansers, moisturisers, avoid prolonged sun exposure and stay active with mild weight-bearing exercises.
Regular medical checkups and health screenings continue to be very important. Good health habits and preventive medical care can help you continue to enjoy wellness of mind and body and build the foundation for good health over many decades. Here are some important tests that should be taken once you’ve crossed into your 30s.
*Blood pressure: It is recommended that women in their late 30s should get blood pressure checked once every year as high BP can result in serious ailments involving heart, kidney and brain. Mild change in the food habits, lifestyle and medicines can easily keep your BP in check.
*Cholesterol: Keeping your cholesterol levels under check is a great way to keep your heart healthy. Your total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke.
The only method to determine cholesterol levels is the blood test. If a woman has bad cholesterol i.e. above 130 mg/dL, she should get it checked every year. The American Heart Association recommends all adults aged 20 or older have their cholesterol, and other traditional risk factors, checked every five years.
* Thyroid test: Malfunctioning thyroid gland can result in weight gain, autoimmune disease and much more. Get a thyroid test done every five years or if you experience symptoms like mood swings, sudden weight gain or loss, irregular menstrual cycles and abnormal sleep habits etc. The thyroid hormone disorder is detected through the blood test which includes T3, T4, and TSH.
*Pap smear: Get a pap test every two years or both a pap test and an HPV test every five years (you can get both tests at the same time). If you have risk factors such as previous abnormal screening results, HIV infection, a weakened immune system, you should be screened annually.
‘Pap smear test’ is used to detect the infection of the cervix, which may show the signs of cervical cancer. During the test, a sample of cells is obtained from the surface of the cervix. Talk to your health care professional about what’s right for you.
* Breast cancer test: Due to rapidly changing lifestyles, incidence of breast cancer is growing. It is important to get a regular check-up done for breast cancer as if detected early, it’s almost curable.
*Eye check-up: In late 30s, all of us start facing problems of vision due to multiple lifestyle factors and excess use of computer, mobile screens etc. Eyestrain, blurred vision, pain, red eyes, dry eyes, etc., are common complaints women have. Eye problems can also cause headaches.
Get an eye exam twice between ages 30 to 39. If you have vision problems, a family history of eye problems, a history of eye injury or have diabetes, increase your frequency as advised by your eye care specialist.