FEELING GREAT: Make the most of your 30s

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AT some point in their life, usually round the age of 30, every person wakes up one Monday morning with aches and pains that weren’t there the day before.

Doing a simple bit of DIY, a spot of gardening or even just a standard game of 5 a- side with your mates could have easily caused them – welcome to aged 30 plus.

In your work place or even in your home, it’s probably known as “getting old” and if it hasn’t happened to you already, it won’t be long before one of your work colleagues or even a family member delights in that fact that you’ve tipped the other side of 30.

They say, and I’ve been personally told this many times, that your 30s are the best times of your life. And thus far, at 32, I’d have to agree that this is true.

That time of your life when you have just the right mix of wisdom and life experience, combined with great physical health to enjoy it.

As you hit 40, the pendulum tips in favour of wisdom and experience.

But your 30s are definitely the time of your life that things start to seem to take just that little bit longer to recover from.

Some people choose to grow old gracefully, bowing out of being active and playing sport at the first sign of aches and pains in muscles that seem to now take days to recover from.

But for some, and you may know someone like this in your team, workplace or even running club, they choose to continue with their activity well into their 50s and 60s, in spite of the aches and pains and stiffness that are suffered at work in the days following.

And that’s great. Because these aches and pains that you get after activity, you know the ones, where your Achilles or calf muscles feel so tight when you first get out of bed on a morning that it feels like your foot doesn’t want to move, and even if it does, it is going to hurt, are very normal.

But it comes with accepting that the optimum period for physical activity is in your 20s.

In this phase of your life you’re able to do pretty much anything physical without the consequence of suffering for days after.

Was it also in your early 30s that you realised that the hangovers of a night out in Church Street or Hartlepool’s Marina just weren’t worth it any more?

But it’s important to understand what’s happening.

You are going through a natural aging process that just means it takes that little bit longer for muscles to return to their normal size.

You see, all muscles need to be flexible and elastic. But as you get older these muscles become less flexible and not only more prone to injury but take much longer to return to their normal length.

So whenever you stretch these muscles, say, playing football, badminton, going for a run, or even just doing the gardening, you are actually stretching these muscles beyond a limit that is slowly but surely reducing.

In your 20s, you’re king. Able to do to pretty much any type of activity or sport, anytime you like.

As you move into your 30s, it is about accepting that to prolong your participation in sport, or any form of physical activity, you might have to occasionally pick your battles.

That means being more selective of when and how you are going to be active and keep yourself fit.

Vary your activity with things like yoga and Pilates, swimming and bike riding, walking and even something like Zumba and you’ll be keeping your muscles and joints as supple and as flexible as possible.