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The Major Red Flags You Need More Exercise In Your 30s, Trainer Says

Once you address these telltale signs, you can turn things around.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

One of the most important things you can do for your health when you're in your 20s is working out regularly. A lot of people neglect their fitness when they're in their 20s and younger, and by the time they hit their 30s, it catches up to them. That's why it's critical to begin exercising as early as you can and maintain a healthy lifestyle—because it gets a whole lot more difficult as you age. After you hit 30, you start to lose 3% to 5% muscle mass every 10 years. This leads to a slower metabolism and fat gain, so you need to do everything you can in order to build and maintain it.

It can be easy to make excuses when your schedule gets booked up real quick, but carving out time for a run or hitting up the gym for a sweat sesh is necessary. You'll feel so much better mentally and physically, and will reap the long-lasting health benefits. So, if you're in your 30s and not sure about where you're at with your health and fitness, here are four major red flags showing that you need more exercise. You can turn things around and establish a better fitness routine ASAP. (Your body will thank you!) And next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

You Can't Run a Mile Without Stopping


One of the first physical fitness tests we experience in PE class is the one-mile run. Love it or hate it, it's a really great measurement of how fit you are aerobically. Even if you're not a runner, you should still have a decent aerobic base to be able to run a mile without stopping. Besides endurance, you need to be able to have good cardio for your heart health.

If you haven't run in a while, don't fret, because you can still do this. Start with a shorter distance where you can maintain good form and a steady pace, then slowly increase your volume.

Related: If You Can't Do These Exercises, You Need to Exercise More

You Can't Perform a Pushup

woman with painful face expression doing hard difficult plank fitness exercise or push press ups feeling pain in muscles at diverse group training class in gym

The pushup is a basic upper body exercise that most people should be able to perform. This movement requires upper body muscle mass and strength, as well as core strength. If you can't perform a single pushup, it's a telltale sign that you need to incorporate strength training and bodyweight movements into your routine. Begin with planks, incline pushups, and also dumbbell bench presses to build up your pushing muscles.

Related: The #1 Best Supplement for Building Muscle, Says Science

You're Constantly Low Energy

Stressed businesswoman rubbing her eyes in the office.

If you're in your 30s and struggling with your energy levels throughout the day, it's a sign that you need to start exercising and also eating a healthier diet. Because of our modern lifestyle, many of us are sitting at a desk all day long, staring at a computer screen, and barely getting any steps.

Although you might not have much energy, you'll feel so much better and more refreshed once you get a workout in. If a full workout sounds pretty daunting, then you can begin with something as short as a 10-15 minute session just to get the heart pumping and the muscles waking up.

Your Body Fat Percentage is too High


As statistics show, we have an obesity crisis here in the United States. Many Americans are carrying excess body fat, which can have a negative impact on their health and overall quality of life. According to Harvard Health Publishing, excess body fat is linked to high levels of "bad" cholesterol. It can also lead to extremely concerning health issues such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and cancer.

Men should have 15% body fat or less to be fit, and women (ages 30 to 39) should fall in the healthy range of 20% to 24%. You can get your body fat percentage checked through a DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan in order to see where you fall on that range, and for some nutrition, fitness, and health expert-approved tips, check out 44 Ways to Lose Noticeable Inches of Belly Fat.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim