You’re finally out of your parents’ house, attending school or working and paying rent in your first apartment. From social drinking to staying up late, and Netflix-and-chilling, slacking seems to be a way of life for those in their Twenties. But your Twenties are your first opportunity to set your own limits and goals, including the fitness routines that you may carry into your later years.
It’s not uncommon, those first years on their own, for young adults to begin to gain weight (The ‘Freshman 15’). But a few months of snacking and slacking can take years, even decades to undo – and the damage can be lifelong. At the same time, impressionable young adults also want to look their best and that can mean unhealthy choices in diet and nutrition. Binge-eating, crash-dieting and disordered behaviors often start in early adulthood.
The best thing you can do as a young adult is tap those energy reserves and develop a regular active lifestyle that includes healthy exercise, sensible meals along with play time. Remember: you’ll never again have this much boundless energy in your life. Make use of it by forging some lifelong behaviors now. Work hard now, knowing that in later years you’ll know you got the heavy lifting done when you were young and strong.
Just because you’re no longer in high school doesn’t mean you have to give up team sports. Games should not just be relegated to the video variety, now. Volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis and basketball are excellent ways to let off steam with your friends, celebrate healthy competition and get great exercise. Not a fan of team sports? Try hiking, trail running or swimming. Every city has excellent trails and parks, as well as a YMCA or swim center.
Your Twenties are all about experimentation, and we understand that some of those experiments may be a little risky – after all, it’s how you learn your boundaries – but keep in mind that a healthy diet and vigorous exercise can actually help mitigate some of the damage you’re doing during these reckless years.
We would caution you to cut down on the liquid calories. Yeah, we know everyone else is drinking in their Twenties, but alcohol is nothing but empty calories and can have a major impact on your weight as well as your long-term health risks. And those empty calories also extend to non-alcoholic drinks like sodas, juices and energy drinks. Many have added sugars, fyi. Plus, it’s hard to have fun when you’ve had too much to drink the night before.
And don’t pay too much attention to the scale. Obsessing over a number doesn’t lead to improved health or appearances. Instead, use your clothing as your measurement. If something feels tight, it probably means you’ve either gained weight or muscle mass, or both.
Your Twenties are also an excellent time to schedule your first chiropractic consultation. Learn now how to mitigate injury when it happens, and how to remain pain-free.