Men’s health series: What should I worry about when I’m in my…30s?

One of three articles in a series about what to expect at different stages of manhood.

mens-healthFrom 1960 to 2002, the average American man increased in height by one inch, but increased in weight by 20 pounds, according to a study (pdf) conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). With this increase in body fat, come a lot more issues for Average Joe to worry about, even in his 30s.

“Basically, at that age, that’s when you want to start thinking about adding a cholesterol screen to your annual checkup,” said Sean DeLue, MD, a family medicine physician at the Scott & White Clinic-Waco.

The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends that thirty-something men should also have a blood sugar screening, and have their blood pressure evaluated if it’s more than 135 over 80.

Family history and health risks

“Family history plays a role, too, in how early you should start screening,” Dr. DeLue said. “If somebody has a strong family history of diabetes, then they may want to start getting their blood sugar checked early on, especially if they’re obese.”

Watch out for the following common signs of diabetes:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination

Time to grow up

Men should also lose any vices they picked up in young adulthood.

“If they smoke, they need to stop. If they drink, they should drink no more than two ounces of an alcoholic beverage in a 24-hour period.”

Get your shots

Although more complicated procedures like colonoscopies aren’t necessary for the average man until around age 50, men should still be scheduling yearly check-ups and getting their immunizations.

“Get your annual flu shot, especially if you’re at high risk or have any type of heart or lung disease,” Dr. DeLue said. “And then, you should get a tetanus vaccine or a TDAP. One TDAP is recommended and then one tetanus [shot] every ten years.”

Eat your veggies

The 30 to 40 age range is usually a pretty healthy age group, the doctor said. Thirty-somethings aren’t typically high utilizers of medicine or medical services.

But in order to maintain general good health during your 30s, men should:

  • Follow the typical food pyramid
  • Eat plenty of vegetables
  • Maintain a high fiber diet
  • Limit fat intake
  • Exercise regularly, including 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week.

The doctor also suggests periodic self-exams to be on the lookout for certain types of cancers.

“We have seen a few testicular cancer cases in this age range,” Dr. DeLue said. “It’s rare, but men should be checking.”

For more information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle in your 30s, the doctor recommends visiting the American Academy of Family Physicians’ site or the American Diabetics Association site, if you are concerned about diabetes.

Find out more about men’s health services at Baylor Scott & White Health, or find a physician near you.

About the author

Jessa McClure
More articles

Jessa McClure holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX, where she is currently an adviser for student publications. She has been a writer in the health care field since 2009.

Leave a Reply

Men’s health series: What should I worry about when I’m in my…30s?