by Liberty Stembridge, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 7th June, 2019
Your twenties - especially your early twenties are an amazing period of growth and discovery, but they can also be pretty tumultuous and stressful.
What with trying to figure out how to be an adult, find your soulmate, finish your education, get a good job, travel and stay sane, it can be easy to let your health and fitness fall apart.
Nevertheless, you're not getting any younger and by starting to incorporate some healthier habits in your younger years, you'll be much more likely to continue those and have a longer, happier, healthier life.
If you can afford it, a gym membership is a worthwhile investment -, especially for the young professional or student. Even if you feel like you're exhausted all the time and spend most of your day on your feet, having a gym membership can help you to develop discipline and provide a more structured, targeted workout, hopefully keeping you strong and healthy.
For many people, the gym also provides stress release and can help ward off or improve the symptoms of mental illness, something that more and more people in their twenties report struggling with.
Once you've set yourself up an established gym routine, you'll likely find it a lot easier to muster up the motivation to get out of bed and go to the gym.
Alternatively, if you don't live near a gym or find it too expensive, try working out from home. Although the logistics of at-home workouts are not always perfect, you can still usually get in some much-needed exercise and stress release from the comfort of your own bedroom.
You've probably heard it many times before, but drinking plenty of water is crucial to improving your health and wellbeing.
Most people don't drink as much water as they should, even though it has a variety of health benefits, and in our generally pretty busy and stressful lives, it's easy to forget your eight cups a day and instead get sucked into the vortex of endless lattes and soda.
Now is the time to invest in a good reusable water bottle and try to drink at least two a day.
A consistently healthy diet is hard to create but can be done with some time and effort. No one is going to be able to eat perfectly 100% of the time, and so you shouldn't aim to either.
It is possible, however, to create a diet that works with your lifestyle to keep you happy and healthy all year round. Recent studies suggest that even something as simple as increasing the amount of veggie you eat can make a drastic difference to your health and wellbeing.
I know i for one have never been particularly stringent about looking after my skin in the sun. If you come from a cold country, the likelihood is you also aren't particularly sun-smart, but it's time to educate yourself, especially if you're traveling anywhere new and sunny.
Although we all love getting a good tan but sun exposure is no joke, and can seriously damage your skin in a way that will last the rest of your life. Even if you live in the coldest, wettest country out there, chances are you still see the sun every day, which is why you should be protecting your skin with at least SPF 15 every day, no matter the season.
Starting in your 20's, start getting a yearly exam with your doctor to find and possibly prevent any problems that could arise in the future.
Finding potential issues early and resolving them as soon as possible will prevent them from turning into chronic health conditions that could seriously affect your life later down the line. Many people have found conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity whilst in their 20's, and as such have been able to start potentially life-saving treatment early.
If you're like most people, you had a bunch of vaccinations when you were a kid and didn't really think much of it or remember what you got. If life were easy and simple, it would stay that way and you'd never have to think about another vaccination again.
Unfortunately, vaccinations are a little more complicated and depending on when and where you grew up, you may be lacking some vaccinations or need an update on a few. Check in with your doctor and see if there are any vaccinations you still need or that have run out.
Self-care is more than just bubble baths and herbal teas. Your twenties are a time of radical change and self-growth for most people, and although this is a good thing, it also brings with it quite a bit of stress and an increased need for a proper self-care routine.
Although definitions of self-care vary, many people view self-care as a way of actively improving and preserving their health and mental wellbeing, especially during times of stress. This can take many forms, be it going to therapy, exercising, artistically expressing yourself, practicing meditation, taking better care of your hygiene - whatever self-care looks like to you, and whatever you really need.
Society likes to romanticize sleepless nights and high-stress situations. We see spending your nights working on that next big project that'll get you a promotion as something to be admired and praised. And while of course, hard work is not a bad thing, in reality, these are destructive behaviors. Making a habit of working yourself to the bone and not getting enough sleep will not do you any favors in the long run.