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I’m turning 30 this year and couldn’t be more excited.

My life is a constant learning process, but I’m eager to wave goodbye to the trials and errors of my twenties and fully embrace feeling more comfortable in my skin. While getting older can be associated with words like decrease” or loss”, it also represents wisdom, maturity, and power. With each year, I gain more insight into the things that help me feel my best, informing the lifestyle I want to lead

Rather than groaning about wrinkles (ahem, laugh lines), I’m focused on the following natural, healthy ways to maintain and evolve the sense of well-being I’ve created for myself the past thirty years.

Adding an extra boost of calcium

Most people, women especially, reach their peak bone mass between the ages of 25 and 30. To keep my bones healthy, I’ve started taking a daily calcium supplement. While a supplement acts as a form of insurance (in case you’re not getting enough calcium through your diet), doctors tell me that consuming this nutrient through food is the best choice for optimal absorption. 

This gives me an excuse to eat even more kale, collard greens, and broccoli — i.e. calcium-enriched foods that aren’t necessarily dairy. I’ve already discovered these go-to greens help keep me feeling more energized and clear-headed. Now, I’m happy knowing they’ll help me stay strong, too.

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Photo courtesy of Becca Matimba/​Unsplash

Doing more of the weight-bearing exercises I love

Speaking of bone strength, experts agree the best exercises for skeletal health are those that force you to work against gravity and bear most of the weight.

Over the years, I’ve tried everything from Crossfit to Bikram yoga. After panting through burpees, navigating a Pilates machine, and swimming (mainly dog-paddling) in pools, I’ve learned my body responds best to Vinyasa yoga and plenty of walking. I find myself looking forward to these activities, rather than, for instance, dreading the gym each morning. After a long walk outside or a rigorous flow, my mental state is just as replenished as my physical.

Fortunately, both yoga and walking are examples of low-impact, weight-bearing exercises. Others include dancing, hiking, jogging, working out with elastic exercise bands, lifting weights, and Pilates. I’m looking forward to trying out a new yoga studio and taking a longer, more scenic walking route to work, all in the name of a solid skeleton.

Performing regular self breast exams

Statistics can sometimes be frightening, especially as they relate to our health. But being informed is also empowering — I’m able to take appropriate steps to care for my body instead of remaining in the dark. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a woman living in the United States has a 12.4 percent risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, which is one out of every eight women.

To remind myself to perform a regular breast self-exam (not every day, but often enough to notice what’s normal and what’s abnormal with my body), I’ve actually placed a small rose quartz crystal on the edge of my bathtub. Rose quartz is said to open the heart by subtly sending higher frequencies to the chest and is known in the crystals community to promote self-love and healing. Whenever I notice it sitting there, I’m reminded of my intention to check my breasts for any lumps, tenderness, or swelling while in the shower or bath. It’s now become a practice of self-care, helping me feel connected and in-tune with my body’s normalities.

There’s no doubt about it: my body is changing as it spends more time on this planet. But each year brings additional experiences and information that teaches me to care for myself more mindfully and intentionally than ever before. The truth is, I end up falling even more in love with my body and my life as I grow older.

Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.