Of course your 20s are a time to live it up, explore your options and do what you're crazy about. But they're also a time to get into the habit of, well, practicing healthy fitness habits—because doing so will ensure that you're healthier later on, according to a new German study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
For the study, researchers tracked over 500 adults for over 18 years, and found that people who were healthiest in their young adult years were also healthiest over time. So we reached out to some fitness experts to find out their best tips for what 20-somethings should pay attention to. Your mission? Start doing all of these things—right now. Your future self will thank you.
The experts we spoke with: Greg Justice, an exercise physiologist and author of Mind Your Own Fitness; Ellen Breeding, an exercise physiologist at AYC Fitness in Kansas City; Irene Lewis-McCormick, certified strength and conditioning specialist and author of A Woman's Guide to Fitness & Strength
Fall in Love With Strength TrainingSeriously, if you're going to make one fitness habit stick, make it this one. Whether you're doing bodyweight circuit training or lifting heavy weights (or any of the variations in between), strength training is great for your overall health: it increases lean muscle mass, boosts metabolism, torches calories, eases back pain, helps you sleep, and even wards off diabetes. For more reasons why you should start strength training today, check out this story: The Beauty of Lifting Heavy Weights. Then be sure to click over to our Quick Strength Training Guide for Women.
Drink More Water
Sounds obvious, right? It's not. Most people still don't drink enough, regardless of how many times they read it on the interwebs. Here's a tip: Every time you check Instagram, chug some H2O. It adds up! And if that doesn't work, definitely check out these 10 ways to drink more water.
Vary It Up
Just because you're a runner does not mean you should run all the time—your body will hit a plateau if you do the same thing over and over again, and your workout won't be as effective. It's all about doing various cross-training activities each week. Hit the weight room for some strength-training circuits. Do yoga. Go for a grueling hike. Whatever it takes to work your body in different ways throughout the week. Need some inspiration? Follow our editor as she undergoes a six weeks to bootcamp fit class. Do those workouts with her and you'll definitely feel it the next morning.
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