Things You Need to Do in Your 20s to Stay Healthy Later In Life
The earlier you start looking after your health, the better it will be later on in life. Many health problems we experience as we age are a result of poor lifestyle choices – but a lot of times the issue of personal health takes a back seat because why would you worry about aging, diabetes, or back problems while in your 20s, right? The reality is what you do now will determine what your health will be like in your 30s and 40s, so the smart thing would be to address all those common issues sooner rather than later. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a guide to get you started:
1.Protect your skin with SPF 15 every day
It is important that you keep your skin protected from UV rays, which are known to damage skin and cause wrinkles (not to mention cancer). If you live in a hot environment, then keeping skin hydrated and applying sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine. Check the SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, before purchasing any sunscreen, and as a general rule don’t use anything less than SPF 15. For hotter temperatures, you may consider using SPF 30, but it’s not always necessary unless you’re spending hours every day baking in the sun. Remember to include a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, to keep skin soft and smooth. You don’t want to start looking aged in your 20’s and have to start adding wrinkle fillers.
2. Eat at least six servings of fruits and vegetables every day
Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of essential nutrients and antioxidants that are needed to keep the body working in perfect condition. It is recommended that you eat at least six servings of fruits and veggies every day – so basically, each meal you eat should include a serving of fruits and greens. A colorful plate usually contains a higher number of nutrients and antioxidants, so don’t stick to one type of fruit or vegetable; eat everything, eat the rainbow.
3. Start an exercise routine
You have plenty of energy in your 20s, so why not use this time to establish a workout routine. There’s a great advantage to taking up exercise; not only do you improve fitness, but following a strict workout routine also enhances other areas of your life, leading to more discipline and better lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, due to a high metabolism and great energy levels, many people in their 20s don’t see the need to exercise, but if you start an exercise routine, then you could potentially improve on may other areas of your life.
4. Have an EKG Done
This is a procedure normally done on older people (over 40) to examine the heart, but there’s no reason not to get your heart examined when you’re younger. There are two reasons you’d want to get an EKG in your 20s; first, a lot of heart diseases are asymptomatic, and this procedure can detect an abnormality, if present, before the condition worsens. Secondly, the procedure allows your doctor to see what your heart looks like at present so that any changes that occur as we age (such as EKG changes brought on by age) will be easy to identify during regular checkups when you’re older. Start by getting a baseline EKG just once in your 20s, and once every 5 years from then on.
5. Weigh yourself often
Get a bathroom scale and use it at least once a week to keep track of any creeping weight. It’s far easier to get rid of 3 or 5 pounds and much harder to lose 20. Proper weight management requires that you keep an eye on things and always be prepared to adjust your diet and lifestyle to keep your weight within a healthy range.
6. Cut back on sugar
We consume too much sugar in the form of soft drinks and breakfast cereal. The problem with excessive sugar consumption is that it is linked to some of the deadliest diseases today, including heart disease and diabetes. Sugar is essentially an empty calorie, meaning it doesn’t have any of the nutrients that you get in real food. It also causes a temporary spike in blood sugar levels, altered mood, and it can be addictive. Reduce sugar intake and drink more water to keep your hormones in check, and to speed up the removal of toxins from your system.
7. Practice portion control
Portion control doesn’t necessarily mean eating minute portions of your favorite meal; it is more about reducing the amount of fatty or sugary food you eat. You don’t really need to worry about portion control when you’ve got a plate full of veggies because they won’t make you fat or damage your health in any way. But processed foods should be consumed in moderation because you don’t want to put too much stress on your digestive system – and keeping in mind they have low nutrients, it makes sense to limit how much you eat.
8. Don’t eat before bedtime
The first rule of late-night feeding is: eat small amounts. While experts now say eating before bed doesn’t play a big role in weight gain, there are a couple of reasons you shouldn’t be snacking before going to bed. So why is it a bad idea?
It encourages bad habits. Bedtime snacks tend to be high in calories and when consumed regularly, they lead to a habit of distracted eating – and that causes weight gain.
Your digestive system should be resting, not digesting. For this reason, it’s better to eat a fruit or something easy on the stomach.
It’s important to note that going to bed hungry is not good for you either because it leads to sleeplessness due to a drop in blood sugar. As always, moderation and smart planning are important.