Being in your early 20s opens your door to brand discoveries, opportunities, and challenges. You come face to face with the different responsibilities attached to navigating the world on your own terms. Amidst the business of life, it’s easy to pause, take a step back, and focus on taking care of yourself first.
Here are a few healthy habits for men in their early 20s.
Get More Sleep
Being young makes it easier to conform to the “work hard, play hard” mindset. Unfortunately, doing so tends to steer you away from developing good sleeping habits. Establish and follow a sleep routine to teach your body how to fall and stay asleep.
Understand Your Lineage
Learn your family history. Certain illnesses like heart disease and diabetes are more common in some families than others. Ask your parents and grandparents whether certain diseases run in your family. Take the extra step and consult your family doctor as well.
Remember the Essential Tests
Grasp the basics of screening for diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol. Your doctor can help you get started on this. Given how common testicular is for young men, it’s also best for you to conduct monthly self-exams to watch out for it.
Manage Your Stress
Navigating existing and new relationships while building your career both add layers of stress into your life. Try out a few sessions of yoga, meditation, or counseling. There are also plenty of resources you can read to gain a better understanding of managing your mental health. If you need additional support and medical guidance for eating disorders, you can even research treatment options for bulimia nervosa, anorexia, binge eating disorder, and more.
Focus on Your Nutrition
Say no to fatty and fried food. If this lifestyle change is too difficult, begin by simply minimizing your intake. Slowly include more servings of fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. Continue this until you’re eating at least six servings every day. Always aim to make your plate as colorful as possible. This shows you that you’re consuming more antioxidants which help protect your heart.
Schedule a Physical Exam Annually
As soon as you can, make sure to get yourself checked every year. This gives you a head start in preventing diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Discuss your results with your doctor and ask for any lifestyle changes you should make. This could look like including new forms of medication.
Get an Electrocardiogram (ECG)
It will always be beneficial for you to get an ECG while you’re younger. First of all, it allows your doctor to identify any potential heart issues you have in your current state. It even detects heart disease despite it being asymptomatic in young individuals. Plus, getting an ECG early on gives your doctor a baseline to compare future ECGs. As long as you don’t notice any new symptoms, you can schedule your ECGs every five years.
Take Care of Your Skin
Wear sunscreen regularly, even during winter, to decrease your risk of developing skin cancer later on. Remember to use at least SPF 15 on your face. You can even prevent wrinkles and add an extra layer of skin protection. Consider getting into the habit of following a skincare routine composed of a gentle cleanser, toner, and moisturizer beforehand.
While it is highly neglected by most young men, flossing is an easy way to elevate your dental hygiene. When you floss, you’re actively removing the food particles that are stuck in your teeth. As a result, you’ll become less prone to developing heart diseases from fostering mouth bacteria.
Strengthen Your Immunity
Partying hard and consuming large amounts of alcohol can have lasting effects that will manifest in one or two decades. Fortunately, one of the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle is to limit your intake of smoke and alcohol. Moving forward, try to prepare for future consequences. For instance, eating barley, yogurt, chicken soup, and beef can help boost your immunity.
Prioritize Your Health
Your early 20s is a good place to start developing healthy habits that can help you live a much longer and more fulfilling life. Take it one step at a time and determine which habit you want to work on first. The key is to never stop working on improving your overall health and wellness despite the challenges you face. Some day in the future, whether that’s a year or a decade from now, you will look back and thank yourself for building these habits.