March 22, 2014 -- intro: Make healthy behaviors a habit while you're still young, and you're more likely to hold onto them throughout your life. To that end, here are 10 health choices every woman needs to make by time she reaches the big 3-0. (And if you've already blown out 30 candles but haven't made some of these choices yet, there's still time — better late than never.)
quicklist: 1 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Ditch The Food Guilt url: text: Not only is it just plain un-fun to sit around moping about that piece of chocolate you ate—but it may also sabotage any weight-loss goals you have. The truth is that it's OK to indulge in sugary or fatty foods once in a while—and even if you do find yourself going overboard sometimes, beating yourself up about it isn't going to help anything.
quicklist: 2 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Protect Your Heart url: text: Forty percent of women rarely give their heart a second thought, according to a poll conducted by Women's Health, the American Heart Association (AHA), and Weekend Today. But scarily, one in four women will die from heart disease—so the actions you take now to keep your ticker healthy could literally be the difference between life and death.
quicklist: 3 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Avoid Harmful Chemicals url: text: It’s true that we don't have conclusive evidence about the long-term effects of exposure to various chemicals, including BPA. But we hope it goes without saying that it's better not to play a game of Russian roulette with your health.
quicklist: 4 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Get Your Flu Shot url: text: When you're young and lazy, you might risk not getting a shot—but once you hit 30, you have no excuse. Don't just get it for your own sake, either—if you don't get the flu, you can't spread it to anyone else. Get the details on some of the different options available.
quicklist: 5 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Actually Stay Home When You're Sick url: text: Nearly four out of five people say they go to work while ill, even if they know they're contagious. Don't perpetuate this cold- and flu-spreading habit!
quicklist: 6 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Get Outside Regularly url: text: Women who spend more time in green spaces are happier, healthier, and more even creative—but there's been an increase recently in what some doctors are calling "nature deficit disorder." Use these tips to add more nature to your life.
quicklist: 7 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Fight Less With Your Partner url: text: Brand-new research finds that people who don't feel supported by their partner tend to experience higher levels of coronary artery calcification, or hardened arteries that restrict blood flow to the heart. We get that sometimes you feel like you just have to prove how right you are, but it's not worth it.
quicklist: 8 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Disconnect Regularly url: text: A number of studies indicate that spending too much time on your digital devices can disrupt sleep. Other research links increased cell phone use to worsened physical fitness and your number of Facebook friends to your stress levels. So go ahead and log off whenever you can—you'll be better off for it.
quicklist: 9 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Log 7-8 Hours of Sleep a Night url: text: Skimping on shuteye doesn't just leave you exhausted—it also comes with a host of health consequences.
quicklist: 10 category: Healthy Choices to Make Before You're 30 title: Forgive Yourself for Health Slipups url: text: No one's perfect 100 percent of the time—and beating yourself up about minor missteps won't help anything. In fact, an increasing amount of research shows that self-compassion is vital to your mental wellbeing. Learn how to be kinder to yourself.
To see another 20 more health choices all women should make by age 30, click here.