Waiting until you are older is not a good plan when it comes to having good, healthy habits. To truly have your best shot at staying healthy, there are some things you need to get into your healthy schedule when you are a young adult. Here are a few to get you started:
Health Insurance - As soon as you are able to, make sure you have health insurance whether it is a government mandate or not! If you have it offered to you through your work, you need to make it a priority. Even when you are young and healthy, things can happen! In fact, having insurance may make it easier for you to go to the doctor sooner, rather than later and take care of an issue before it keeps you out of work or ends up in a hospital stay.
Wellness Checks - With health insurance, you can have wellness checks that are usually no cost to you with your active insurance. Having wellness checks can help you get baselines for your weight, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol as well as so many other things in your body. Knowing these numbers and levels can help diagnose you if you have an issue in the future as well as keep you informed of areas you need to watch in your life BEFORE they become serious problems. Some companies offer incentives for wellness checks as well as healthy behavior too. Check and see if you can earn money for your HSA or other benefits if you follow a wellness plan! You might end up with some extra cash in your pocket!
Dental Health Care - Dental insurance can be one of the cheapest to get through your work. We don't think of our teeth in the same way as other things that affect our health, however, having infections or problems in your mouth can lead to severe illness and even death if not treated. For a small amount, you can get in a routine of having your teeth checked and cleaned to avoid any health issues down the road. Of course good brushing and flossing will help the dentist to keep your teeth clean, too. Besides, when you are young this is the time you are making your first impressions in a career or with a possible partner. You want to have the best breath possible, right? Mouth wash won't wash out the gunk either. It just TRIES to mask what is in your mouth. Keep it clean first!
An Apple a Day - You have heard this phrase "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away". The truth in this statement is: proper eating habits can truly help keep you healthy. However, a lot of you are just so busy and eating right all the time is next to impossible. So do this: take your vitamins! Make sure you eat something when you take them, but TAKE THEM. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system, a multivitamin will help you gain vitamins and minerals in general that you are lacking with a not-so-healthy diet and since you have a crummy diet, take a probiotic. These can be costly, but they are one of the best things to keep your immune system running well as your digestive system healthy. Besides, if you are lacking in fruits and veggies on a daily basis, your body will need the probiotic to just run smoothly.
Get Some Rest - I know getting rest is one of the hardest things for all of us to do especially when you are young and have so much you want to experience! I don't mean you have to be home and in your bed every night by 10pm, however, if you know you need to pull an all-nighter for work or school, or you know you will be out late with friends at a concert or a party, take care of your body ahead of time by getting some extra rest, or make sure you can get the rest you need the next day. When we rest, that is the time our body heals itself. If you aren't resting, your body barely has time to catch up let alone try to take care of little issues before they become BIG issues. If you think you are coming down with something, say "NO" to extra things if you can, so you won't miss a lot by being sick. One day of rest can sometimes save you a week of illness.
Be Active - Of course exercise is a great way to keep your body as healthy as possible! But, overdoing it can actually lower your immune system so all the other things I mentioned are even more important if your daily life consists of a lot of physical activity! But with that said, you need to be as active as you can be, safely, as much as you can to not only have a healthy physical life, but emotionally and spiritually it's good to be active as well. Be active in your community. Be active with your friends. Be active with your family. Help others when you can. All of these things will boost your whole body in general and help you live a long, happy and healthy life!
AND...for those of us who are starting later in life to take care of ourselves...It's never to late to start on all the things I have mentioned, because, all of these things can help you have a better quality of life--but also possibly give you more time to enjoy your healthy, happy life, too!