Have you ever eaten greasy diner food at 1:00am in the morning…
Or spent hours baking on the beach…
Or failed to make it to the gym... again!…
If you’re in your 20’s, chances are you probably aren’t thinking about how any of the above will affect you in your 50s or 60s. In fact, you may not even be thinking about how doing those things will affect you tomorrow.
But DO think about this:
Chronic, age-related diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes start long before the first symptoms show up. These conditions germinate and grow slowly over decades, as your body accumulates damage year after year.
However... You can avoid a lot of that future damage – and those diseases – if you make some mindful lifestyle changes now, while you’re in your 20s.
The positive steps you take today will affect your health for the rest of your life… and your future self will be enormously grateful.
To gift yourself with lifelong health, energy, strength, and vitality, make these seven essential health moves a part of your daily routine.1. Don’t Sleep On ZZZZZZ’s
Pulling all-nighters or getting by on a few hours of sleep may seem like badges of honor when you’re young. But sleep deprivation affects people of all ages. And as your sleep deficit piles up, it can start to do damage to your immune system and your whole body.
In fact, research has shown that getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night can set you up for a long list of long-term health issues, including obesity and depression.
You can avoid those outcomes by prioritizing restorative sleep and developing healthy sleep habits now. Take these steps to get the best night’s sleep:
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same times as often as you can.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
- Turn off or remove electronics from your sleep area.
- Avoid chemicals – like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol – that interfere with sleep, especially close to bedtime.
- Exercise regularly, at least three hours before going to bed.
2. Smile! Take Good Care of Your Teeth and Gums
A bright, healthy smile is a well-respected aesthetic asset. But, there’s a more important reason your mom (and your dentist) nag you about proper brushing and flossing:
Good oral health affects much more than just your teeth!
Scientific studies link low-level gum disease with potentially deadly chronic conditions including cancer, obesity, and dementia.
To keep your pearly whites strong, your gums pink and healthy, and protect your future wellness, make sure you brush and floss properly every day. And get to the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning and check-ups.
3. Make Water Your BFF
With all the things you have to do and think about each day, drinking plenty of water probably doesn’t top your todo list. But there’s plenty of scientific evidence that it should!
Your body is 60% water… and even more for some of your most vital organs like your brain (73%), skin (64%), and kidneys (79%). So staying properly hydrated offers a ton of benefits for your body.
Conversely, getting even mildly dehydrated can cause all sorts of health issues, including:
- Bad breath
- Muscle cramps
- Dry skin
- Brain fog
The recommended daily water intake during your 20s comes to 75-95 ounces per day for women and 100-110 ounces per day for men.
That doesn’t necessarily all have to come from drinking water, though. Fruits and veggies all contain water, especially high-volume fruit-superstars like watermelon, oranges, lettuce, and cucumbers. Other beverages count, too, like herbal teas and no-sugar added juices.
4. Find Physical Activities That You Enjoy (And Do Them Regularly)
It’s no secret that moving your body is a cornerstone of any health regimen. And when it comes to exercise, consistency is key!
Doing regular physical activities or workout routines in your 20s establishes a lifelong habit that offers immense benefits for your physical and emotional health.
Even if you don’t love exercise, find a way to add enjoyable physical activities into your daily life. If you know you won’t do it on your own, find an accountability partner – someone who will hold you to your exercise plan and do it with you.
Try out all kinds of movements, activities, and settings until you find a few that click – Whether it’s walking, jogging, hiking, stretching, yoga, dancing, strength-training... Doing activities you enjoy with people you like transforms exercise from a daily chore into something you’ll look forward to every day.
And, if you need some added incentive… Science has shown that opting out of exercise can set you up for a whole host of debilitating chronic diseases down the road… From heart failure osteoporosis to diabetes to cancer.
5. Relax! Learn How To Manage Stress
When you’re in your 20s, your life can feel like a whirlwind. From leaving school to finding a career to dealing with student loans and credit card debt, the pressures of increasing responsibility can start coming at you from all directions. Now is the time to find ways to cope with that stress so your mind, body, and spirit have a chance to calm and reset.
While some people claim to thrive under stressful conditions, chronic stress can be a big trigger for disease. When your body is constantly flooded with cortisol, the stress hormone, it sets the stage for dozens of damaging health conditions.
Fortunately, there are dozens of ways your can support your body and manage stress including:
- Mindful breathing
- Spending time with good friends
This is the time to figure out which methods of self-care work best for you. Learning to manage your stress now will help you cope with whatever curveballs life throws your way.
6. Eat Like Your Life Depends on It
If your social calendar is packed full, or you’re constantly on the move, it can be easy to turn to fast foods, processed foods, and pre-packed meals. But all of those options tend to be loaded with salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats… with very few nutrients to be found.
Unhealthy food choices may result in stomach upset in the short term, and significant health issues down the road (with some issues starting sooner than you may think)
In fact, eating highly processed foods every day can increase your risk of premature death by 62%!
Though it may feel inconvenient at first, skip the ultra-processed foods and load up on healthier choices. Aim for 9 servings of fruits and veggies every day (servings are smaller than you think). Eat plenty of lean proteins like fish, free-range chicken, and grass-fed beef. Choose beneficial fats like avocados, olive oil, and walnuts. The earlier you start making healthy eating choices, the better your lifelong health will be.
7. Go With Your Gut
You probably never think about the trillions of bacteria in your gut (aka your gut microbiome.) But stacks of research show us that the gut microbiome can be the #1 driver of your lifelong health… good or bad.
That’s because your gut is responsible for 70-80% of your immune system!
Your gut is also home to both beneficial probiotic bacteria and harmful pathogenic bacteria. When your gut microbiome is in healthy balance, probiotic bacteria vastly outnumber pathogens. And recent research shows that this beneficial bacterial balance is critical for healthy aging.
But when your gut gets out of balance – a state called dysbiosis – pathogens outnumber beneficial bacteria, and take a terrible toll on your current and future health. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to knock your gut into dysbiosis: a single round of antibiotics, a particularly stressful week, or even a single meal of highly processed foods can do it.
Dysbiosis plays a part in practically every disease you can think of, including:
- Depression and anxiety
- Sexual dysfunction (like impotence or low libido)
- IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
- Alzheimer’s disease
Clearly, getting your gut health in order needs to be a high priority – At ANY age! Supporting your gut microbiome and establishing a healthy balance can do wonders for your current and future wellness, vitality, and longevity.
Make the smart choice and manage your gut microbiome with Just Thrive Probiotic!
The habits you establish in your 20s will have a far reaching effect on your entire life… so it’s important to be intentional and think big picture. And, when it comes to great health and feeling your best, keeping your gut microbiome in healthy balance with Just Thrive Probiotic is one of the best things you can do for your body.
Make Just Thrive Probiotic part of your lifelong health plan, starting right now, and set yourself up for a lifetime of abundant wellness.