Knowing your numbers in your 30s can help keep your health in check in the long run. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

In their 30s, some men might feel invincible when it comes to their health.

And too often, many of them fail to prioritize routine checkups and annual screenings.

But make no mistake—putting off these important appointments can invite health troubles later in life. And paired with a poor diet or unhealthy lifestyle choices, it can lead to serious trouble.

There are several changes men in this age group can make now that will pay dividends in the years ahead, said Harland Holman, MD, a physician at the Spectrum Health Family Residency Clinic.

Here are Dr. Holman’s Top 8 tips for men in their 30s:

1. Watch blood pressure and cholesterol

Keep an eye on blood pressure, cholesterol, diet and nutrition, Dr. Holman said. He reminds patients that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in men—and prevention is key.

“We all know high cholesterol and weight can lead to heart issues,” he said. “So knowing your numbers in your 30s can help keep your health in check in the long run.”

Building a heart-healthy diet now will establish a routine that can follow you for life. Aim to focus on whole foods and plant-based options.

2. Stay active

Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

“That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day,” Dr. Holman said. “But find ways to incorporate movement into your routine. Take your dog for a walk, get up and take breaks from working on the computer. Just move your body as much as possible.”

3. Know your family history

“Talk to your family and find out if there is any history of high blood pressure and cholesterol with relatives—and ask about cancers, too,” Dr. Holman said.

If there is a family history of cancer, Dr. Holman recommends screening sooner than later—often 10 years prior to the diagnosis of that family member’s diagnosis.

Other ones to keep an eye on are prostate and colon cancer screenings. These typically happen in your 40s, but if there’s a family history, screening should be done in your 30s, he said.

4. Monitor your mood

Dr. Holman screens all his patients for anxiety and depression, as undiagnosed depression can lead to addiction and other negative outcomes.

“If you’re not feeling like yourself or having issues with anxiety or depression getting in the way of your day-to-day routine, reach out to your doctor,” he said.

5. Self-examine for changes

Keep an eye on your skin and watch for any abnormalities, he said. Also, conduct a testicular self-exam and look for lumps or bumps.

6. Get blood work and labs regularly

“I monitor labs with my patients and compare year to year,” Dr. Holman said. “It’s a great way to stay on top of your health and call out any negative trends before they become a real problem.”

7. Keep in touch with sexual health

Sexual health and erectile dysfunction are things many men might be afraid to bring up with their doctor. But Dr. Holman encourages an open discussion on this topic because any problems can be a sign of strain or heart disease.

8. Talk to your doctor

The bottom line: Have an open line of communication with your doctor and don’t skip annual checkups.

“Don’t feel like you need to get too rigid with too many changes and a health regime,” Dr. Holman said. “It’s all about incremental change and having an open line of communication with your doctor.”