You probably already know that fitness is important. But is there really a benefit to getting into it in your 20s?
The answer is yes! Not only do you have more energy at this age, you’re also most likely not yet busy building a family. By the time you already have a family to provide for, you would have already built solid fitness habits that are much harder to break.
So, what kind of habits are we talking about? Read on to find out!
Habit #1: Learning About Fitness
It may sound cliché, but when it comes to fitness, knowledge is power. Now, we don’t know if you’ve already noticed, but there is a lot of BS going around in this industry.
From get-ripped-quick programs and diets to magic supplements that can supposedly help you lose a ridiculous amount of weight in only 30 days, there are just too many things that can derail your progress if you don’t know what you’re doing.
By learning as much as you can about the science behind health and fitness, you’ll be able to easily spot BS claims and only stick to what you know would work.
Habit #2: Starting Small
One of the biggest things that keep people from realising their fitness goals is their tendency to do too much too soon. Instead of making small, sustainable lifestyle changes, they go for things like seven-day challenges, crazy fad diets, and ridiculous workouts.
The problem with these things is that while they may work in the beginning, they’re impossible to stick to for most people because they’re almost always centered on deprivation and killing yourself in the gym—even if you’ve never eaten healthy or exercised in your life before.
If you want to succeed, your focus should instead be on making small lifestyle changes that you can build on over time. For instance, instead of drinking four cans of coke per day, maybe you can cut it back to two. Instead of always taking the elevator, maybe go up a couple of floors via the stairs. Instead of not working out at all, maybe do a couple of workouts per week.
The idea here is that because the changes you make are so small, there’s a much bigger chance you’ll be able to stick with them. Eventually, you’ll find that you’re able to make more significant lifestyle changes much more easily because you’ve given yourself time to get used to making healthy decisions first.
Habit #3: Strength Training
Another important habit you should get into in your 20s is strength training. Not only is it easier to get stronger while you’re young, but building muscle in your 20s would also help you keep problems like fat gain, bone density loss, and limited mobility at bay as you grow older.
Also, the stronger the foundation you build early on, the easier it would be for you to stay fit and healthy as you reach your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. You’ll not only be able to maintain your physique more easily, you’ll also be less likely to develop medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
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Habit #4: Cardio
Aside from strength training, though, you also need to keep your heart healthy through regular cardiovascular exercise.
The good news is that it’s much easier to add cardio to your routine than strength training. All you have to do is pick any vigorous activity you enjoy and do more of it. You can swim, play touch footy, run, bike, or even dance.
And if none of those activities do it for you, you can also just incorporate cardio in your daily routine. Walk more often. Pick the farthest parking spot from where you need to go so you have to cover longer distances on foot. Walk your dog more frequently, etc.
Habit #5: Making Healthier Food Choices
It’s easy to feel invincible when you’re young. If you’re like most 20 year olds, you can eat junk food and go on drinking binges without feeling terrible or gaining weight. This, however, doesn’t mean that these things aren’t taking a toll on your health.
In reality, all these unhealthy choices add up even if you don’t immediately see their effects. And once your body hits its breaking point, you’ll immediately start having problems. For some people, it happens in their 30s. For others, it happens a little later in life. The bottom line, though, is that it’s definitely not a matter of if, but when.
So, does this mean you can never eat junk food and drink alcohol ever again? Not at all!
Studies show that cheat meals are okay and may actually help you stick to a healthier eating plan long term. This means you can still enjoy the occasional pizza, beer, cake, or whatever other food or drink it is that you love. The goal is to simply tip the balance so you’re eating healthy around 80% of the time.
And, again, you don’t have to change your eating habits overnight. Just make small tweaks over time and you’ll be just fine.
Do Things Now That Your Future Self Would Thank You For
At the end of the day, it all boils down to making decisions and doing things today that future you would want to high five you for. Don’t wait until you’re too old, sick, or busy to start. Build those habits now to make it easier for future you to stay fit and healthy.
|Start your fitness journey the right way!
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