A lot of people in their 20s think that they will develop healthy fitness habits sometime in the future. After all, they’re so busy with school and work now. Plus, they’re still young and healthy, so their bodies can take some abuse. When life calms down in a decade or so, they’ll start putting more of a focus on their health. However, there are a number of reasons why sticking to healthy fitness habits in your 20s is a very good idea. The better care you take care of yourself now, the more likely you are to be healthy in the future. And you may find that life never calms down like you want it to. Here are some healthy habits you should cultivate starting now.
Sleep is one of the big things that young people skimp on. It’s easy to get caught up in studying for finals, or in staying out late partying, or in putting in lots of extra hours at work in an attempt to impress your boss. When there are so many different things going on in your life, it’s easy for adequate sleep to fall by the wayside.
However, there are a lot of reasons why sleep is an important part of sticking to your fitness habits. Lack of sleep has been linked to a number of serious problems. It lowers your cognitive abilities, impairing your ability to learn and remember; leads to an increased risk of experiencing accidents; and increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can also reduce your sex drive, lower your testosterone level, increase your risk of depression, make your skin age, and make you gain weight.
No matter your age, commit to healthy habits of sleep. You’ll thank yourself later.
2. Begin Strength Training
Strength training is important for people of all ages. It helps you increase your lean muscle mass, makes you look and feel better, and improves your metabolism. Properly performed, it can help ward off back pain, help you to sleep better, and lower your risk of developing diabetes. It can also help to improve your bone density, which can help lay a foundation for health as you age. Whether you use weights, bodyweight exercises or a mix of the two, make sure you get in the routine of strength training.
3. Drink Water
According to some estimates, as many as 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Many of us simply don’t get enough to drink, and what we do drink often comes in the form of sodas and other sweetened beverages. This may be particularly true among students in their 20s who make it through finals season on the strength of caffeine and sugar.
Drinking water can help you to control your caloric intake, thus helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Being hydrated can help your muscles to work well, help protect your skin and keep it looking young, and help keep your kidneys healthy. According to a study in The Journal of Nutrition, mild dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, a worsened ability to concentrate, and a dampened emotional state.
Drinking water is one of those healthy habits that can be hard to start, but becomes easy once you get used to it. Try carrying around a water bottle and taking a drink anytime you feel thirsty.
4. Exercise with Good Form
When you’re young, sometimes it’s easy to just throw yourself into exercise without thinking about proper form. But exercising with poor form can lead to injuries and imbalances down the road. Establish healthy fitness habits now, and you’ll get better results.
5. Learn to Take Rest Days
Sometimes young people feel invincible, and when they get started exercising, they just want to hit the gym every day. It’s important to take time to rest, because this allows your body to recover and repair. This is a good way of learning to respect and care for your body when you’re still young.
6. Vary Your Exercise
Try new things. Each exercise activity brings some benefits and some potential drawbacks. If you do a lot of different activities, you’ll get a wide variety of benefits. Plus, there’s some truth to the saying, “Use it or lose it.” As people age, they often become highly specialized in their activities and exercise. By establishing healthy fitness habits of variation, you can keep your body healthy and keep the ability to do all the activities you love.