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When you’re in your teens, for the most part, it’s easy to stay healthy. You have your parents to take care of, you don’t have to work, which means you can spend more time being active, and you can eat whatever you like without it impacting on your waistline.

Unfortunately, once you hit your 20s, things start to change, and it becomes much more difficult to keep up those healthy habits that once seemed natural or to add new habits that are important now that you’re older. It is, however, important that you make an effort to do so if you want to avoid getting sick now and in the future.

To get you started, here are some of the healthiest habits to cultivate in your 20s:

Monitor Your Weight

You shouldn’t get obsessive about it, but monitoring your weight by standing on the scales once a week/month will enable you to keep track of your weight, so that, if you notice that you’re starting to gain a few pounds, you can immediately take steps to remedy the situation by cutting cut the junk and taking a little more exercise.

Learn How to Cook Healthy Meals

Since it’s so much easier to gain weight in your 20s and beyond, it’s the perfect time for you to learn how to cook delicious, nutritious meals, if this is something you struggle with at the moment. You don’t have to take a course or create really complex dishes, just look up a few simple recipes that contain a good balance of all the food groups and learn how to do them well. If you’re stuck for time, there are lots of healthy dishes that can be whipped up in as little as 15 minutes, and if you batch cook them, you’ll always have something good to eat on hand.

Take Up Regular Exercise

Of course, a healthy diet alone won’t protect you from illness and overweight, which is why you should start looking for fun forms of exercise that you can engage in on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter whether it’s yoga, running, weight training or dance – find something you love and add it to your schedule at least four days a week. Make it a priority to stick to your exercise appointments, and you’ll be amongst the healthiest people in your age group not only in your 20s but in your 30s, 40s and beyond.

Minimize Your Sugar Intake

Excess sugar is a contributing factor in so many conditions, including diabetes and obesity. It will also rot your teeth and give you bad skin when it is eaten to excess Now that you’re no longer a kid do yourself a favour by cutting down on the amount of sugar you consume. You don’t have to eliminate it completely, although you’ll probably feel fantastic if you do, but at least switch to diet sodas and sweeteners most of the time.

Practice Safe Sex

Your 20s is usually the time when you experiment with sex and get to know that side of your personality. There’s nothing wrong with that, and actually, a healthy sex life can be great for your physical and mental health, but you must practice safe sex if you want to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

As well as practising safe sex, whenever you are with a new partner, you should seriously consider both getting tested so that you know where you stand. Click here to find out more about STD testing and how you can get tested for free.

Find a Job You’re Passionate About

Your 20s are also a time when you’re beginning to think more seriously about your career, and if you want to live a long and healthy life, having a career that you’re passionate about and which you’re always happy to get out of bed for in the morning is a must.

I know it isn’t always easy, especially in the current climate, to find that one perfect job, but don’t give up the search, even if you have to work a boring job for a while, and do whatever you can to find meaning in your work. Your mental health will be much better if you can do this.

Learn Relaxation Techniques

Modern life is inherently stressful what with all of the work and family commitments we have, the increasing amount of traffic on the roads and the influx of bad news we’re subjected to on a daily basis., which is why learning relaxation techniques now, when you’re really just starting out in life will serve you well.

There are numerous ways to relax from yoga and meditation to hiking in the woods or having girlie movie nights, and it doesn’t matter which you choose as long as you actually take the time to relax and unwind on a regular basis.

Sleep More

I know when you’re young spending all night at the bar with friends is more appealing than getting a solid 7-9 hours sleep each night, but sleep is so vital to your health that you really should make an effort to get more shut eye. Your body and brain will then have ample time to recover from the stresses of the day, you’ll be better able to maintain a healthy weight, and you’ll perform better at work, which will certainly help y0u top get that dream job you want.

Wear Sunscreen

When you’re in your 20s, and your skin is still smooth and supple, it can be easy to neglect proper skin care practices, but if you want to avoid looking old before your time, and more importantly, if you want to avoid skin cancer, you really do need to start at least wearing a decent sunscreen daily. It might be a pain to apply it so often, but you will be pleased you did when you look younger and feel healthier than your peers 20 years down the line.

Are you a 20-something? What healthy habits have you recently incorporated into your life?

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