15 Workout Habits You Should Establish In Your 20s

Embrace the Rest Day

This is huge. Do not get into the habit of working out seven days a week, or even attempting to do so. Incorporate a rest day into your routine so your body has time to recover—or else you could seriously injure yourself, or in the least experience some diminishing returns from your workouts. For more intel about how to recover and refuel, check out our recovery center.

Learn Proper Form, and Don't Cheat

The key to circuit training and weight lifting is that you have to use proper form—otherwise you risk injuring yourself at worst, or not getting much out of your workout at best. So at least once, invest in a personal trainer (most gyms offer a complimentary session when you join). Use that time to ask as many questions as you can, so you have a better understanding re: what to do. And when you hit up a fitness class, no shame it and ask as many questions as you can about how to do the moves right—hey, you paid to be there.

PLUS: 15 Biggest Fitness Myths, Ever!

Switch Up Your Running Shoes

Yes, they're expensive, but you know what's more expensive? Hospital bills. In a Swedish study of recreational runners, the runners who ran every day in the same pair of shoes were more likely to suffer running-related injuries that sidelined them for at least a day. Runners who rotated between multiple pairs of shoes, however, were less injury-prone. Find out the top 6 tips on picking the best running shoes for you.

Refuel Properly Post-Workout

Your body craves a combo of carbs and protein within 30 minutes of working out. The carbs help give you energy, while the protein helps repair torn and stretched muscles. A good choice: low-fat chocolate milk—it's got a great combo of protein and carbs that replenishes your body after you sweated those very things out.

Go to Random Gym Classes

You know how your gym offers all those classes with scary names, like "Chisel Extreme" and "Booty Kickin' Step?" Go to them. Now's the time to try out all of your options, so you can figure out what works for you and what you're more likely to stick with down the road, when things like babies, marriage, promotions, and so on make working out a bit more complicated.

Stretch Before and After You Exercise

Three to five minutes on the front end and the back end is enough—but you've gotta actually do it. Otherwise, your muscles tighten up and you're setting yourself up for injury later, especially as you get older. Just be sure not to make these 5 common stretching mistakes while you're at it.

Make Your Workout a Part of Your Day

You know you're going to shower, right? And at some point, you will forage for food. Same holds true for exercise—schedule it in so you don't question its existence on your calendar. It's just there, much like your 3 PM meetings and your OkCupid dates.

More: 7-Day Workout Plan to Trim Trouble Spots

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