Of course their twenties are a time to live life, explore your options and do what you’re crazy. But it is also a time to get into the habit of, well, the practice of physical fitness habits-because doing so will ensure that you become healthier later, according to a new German study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and exercise.
For the study, researchers followed more than 500 adults over 18 years and found that people were healthier in their young adult years were also healthier over time. So we got in touch with some fitness experts for their top tips for 20-somethings what should pay attention. His mission? Start doing all these things-right now. Your future self will thank you!
The experts we spoke with Greg Justice, an exercise physiologist and author of mind his own gym; 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 and Strength
1. Fall in love with strength training
Seriously, if you’re going to make a habit of fitness club, make this. Whether you are doing circuit training or body weight lifting (or any variations in between), strength training is very good for your overall health increases muscle mass, increases metabolism torches calories, relieves pain, helps you sleep, and even wards off diabetes.
2. Drink more water
Sounds obvious, right? It is not. Most people still do not drink enough, no matter how many times you read on the interwebs. Here’s a tip: Every time you check Instagram, chug some H2O. It adds up!
3. Vary it up
Just because you are 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 will not be as effective. It’s all about making various cross-training activities each week. Hit the weight room for some strength training circuits. Do yoga. Go for a strenuous hike. Whatever it takes to work your body in different ways throughout the week.
4. Embrace the rest day
This is huge! Do not get into the habit of working seven days a week, or even try. Incorporate a rest day into your routine so that your body has time to recover, or otherwise could seriously injure yourself, or in the least experience some diminishing returns from your workouts.
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5. 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 run the risk of injury at worst or not do much out of your workout at best. So at least once, invest in a personal trainer (most gyms offer a complimentary session when you register). Use this time to ask as many questions as possible, so you have a better understanding re: what to do. And when you hit a fitness class, no shame and ask as many questions as possible about how to make the right moves, hey, it paid to be there!
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6. Switch up your running shoes
Yes, they are expensive, but you know what is more expensive? Hospital bills. In a Swedish study of recreational runners, runners who ran every day in the same pair of shoes were more likely to suffer career-related that sidelined for at least a day injuries. Runners who rotate between several pairs of shoes, however, were less prone to injury.
7. Refuel properly post-workout
Your body needs a combo of carbs and protein within 30 minutes of exercise. Carbohydrates help to give you energy while the protein helps repair broken and stretched muscles. A good choice: milk with low-fat chocolate has a great combo of protein and carbs that replenishes your body after sweating those same things.
8. Go to random gym classes
You know how your gym offers classes with scary names, like “Extreme Chisel” and “Step Booty Kickin ‘?” Go with them. Now is the time to try all your options, so you can figure out what works for you and what is more likely to stick to the road, when things like babies, weddings, promotions, and so on to make working out a little more complicated.
9. Stretch before and after you exercise
Three to five minutes in the front and the rear is enough-but you have to actually do it. Otherwise, your muscles tighten and are being installed to injuries later, especially as you age.
10. Make your workout a part of your day
You know you’re going to shower, right? And at some point, you will find food. The same is true for the calendar year in which it is not disputed its existence on your calendar. It’s just there, like its 3 PM and meetings OkCupid dates.
11. Be mindful
One of the best things you can do to your body? Pay attention to what you are trying to say. Practicing mindfulness can help teach you how to tune into the things your body needs and feel, either while you are eating (“I’m full!”) Or while you’re working (“this does not feel right”).
12. Invest in good workout clothes
Research shows that when you feel confident in your appearance, resulting in performance. Check out our winners of the fitness from 2013, and choose some clothes that will make you feel (and perform) like a full head.
13. Do either Yoga or Pilates
And do it for your posture. These classes will help negate the potential hunchback that you may or may not be developing from sitting at the computer for, well, long way nature intended.
14. Choose your friends wisely
Of course happy hours and parties are fun warehouse loft rare, and are an essential part of being in their twenties. But if that’s all your friends want to do, it will not be super helpful when it comes to meeting your fitness goals. Also make sure to cultivate some friendships with people who are interested in being active, too-you are more likely to follow suit and stay motivated.
15. Have fun!
Think of exercise as the time to release their pent up energy, and have fun with it! If you try a dance class hip-hop, schedule a race with friends, or make a new playlist that you can not wait to use in the gym, it’s all about seeing fitness as a fun way to pass the time -not a liability. Really enjoying your lifestyle fit is what will help you stick with it long after their twenties are a distant vision in the rearview mirror.
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