Being Healthy as a 20-Something

Though they are often referred to as “young invincibles”, most 20-somethings are not at all free from health worries. In fact, there are several health concerns that have more severe effects on millennials than any other generation. As a 20-something, it is concerning that many of my peers are not aware of these issues. Being knowledgeable is the first step in staying as healthy as possible.

From sleep disorders to disease control, there are plenty of conditions young adults need to be aware of. Here are just a few:

  • Autoimmune diseases

There are over 80 types of autoimmune disorders and young adults are most at risk for nearly 10 percent of them. Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include Type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s and Multiple Sclerosis. These three are, in fact, most common among people under age 40. Many celebrities like Selena Gomez, Bret Michaels and Cynthia McFadden even suffer from autoimmune deficiencies. Other autoimmune diseases prevalent in young adult populations include Lupus, Psoriasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis among others too.

  • Stress and high blood pressure  

Nearly 20 percent of adults ages 24-32 have high blood pressure. That means having a BP of 120/80 or above. High blood pressure and stress related issues can spawn into larger ones such as heart attack, stroke or heart, kidney or vascular conditions. Staying active and eating right are easy ways to keep your blood pressure lower.

  • Sleep deficiencies 

Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. As a student though, college or otherwise, this is sometimes difficult. Getting adequate sleep wards off depression and overactive appetites. There are also many trendy gadgets that track both your fitness and sleep to help stay in check.

  • Balancing your diet’s intake of sodium and sugar 

It can be challenge when you’re shopping for yourself for the first time. The task of staying healthy in a big city or dorm can be difficult. Keep sodium levels in check (shoot for a teaspoon or less per day), sugar levels to five teaspoons or less per day, and eat two to three servings of fruits and veggies per day to feel better on a regular basis. In conjunction with a fair amount of exercise per week, you can beat the Freshman 15 or any other health related battle that may be ahead!

Being a 20-something is arguably one of the most fun times of your life. It’s important to treat your body right and preserve it for the road ahead. Awareness and lifestyle choices are the first step. How else do you, or did you, stay healthy as a 20-something?

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk

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