Last updated: Apr 18, 2008
“If a woman in her 30s hasnt already developed a good exercise routine, its time,” says Michele Kettles, MD, medical director of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. This is when your metabolism first begins to slow—and when your busy schedule may tempt you to exercise less. As a result, the pounds begin to creep on, with most of the new fat settling on your hips and thighs.


Without exercise in your 30s, youll also experience the gradual loss of bone density, strength, and flexibility, says Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University. Plus, this is the decade when you start to become more susceptible to weight-related health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. But you can change all that.

Cardio routine
This 30-minute walk-run-interval session (plus warm-up and cool-down) gives you maximum calorie burn in minimum time to help you work getting fit into your crazy schedule. Do it 3 times a week.

1. Walk briskly for 5 minutes to warm up.

2. Run at a moderate pace for 7 minutes, then walk briskly for 3 minutes.

3. Run at a slightly faster pace for 3 minutes, then walk briskly for 2 minutes.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.

5. Run at a slow pace for 3 minutes, then walk for 2 minutes to cool down.

Strength routine
Do this 8-minute full-body bone- and muscle-building circuit 2–3 times a week. Start with 5- to 8-pound dumbbells, then move up to 8–10 pounds when the moves start to feel easy. Rest for 1 minute between moves.