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How to Stay Healthy at 25 Years Old

People in their mid 20s are beginning their adult lives. Finished with college and settling into a job, a city and a lifestyle, 25-year-olds would do well to pay attention to health factors that can influence their present and future wellness. Getting into healthy exercise and nutrition routines and making a financial plan at 25 can pay dividends your whole life.

Avoid heart disease risk factors. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), 80 percent of women aged 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease; having just one risk factor doubles your chance of developing the disease. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, having hypertension or high cholesterol or being inactive. Because the artery-clogging accumulation of “bad” cholesterol can begin early, the NHLBI recommends that young adults, especially women in their 20s and 30s, learn more about the risk factors of heart disease and take steps to eat heart-healthy meals and exercise regularly.

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Ensure your financial health. Writers for Kiplinger, a financial guidance company, advised people in their 20s on four steps toward financial security. Finding your career path in a sector that works for you, and charting out where you want to go, is recommended. Having an emergency fund in a savings account to cover three to six months of expenses will help you sleep better. Writing a plan for how to pay off your debt by a target date will help you feel in control. Finally, starting to save just $150 a month in a retirement account 20 years before most people do will mean you have a $180,000 advantage if you reap 8 percent on money in your retirement account.

Drink minimally. According to expert physicians cited by "Redeye," a daily Chicago newspaper serving readers in their 20s and 30s, men in their 20s should have no more than two drinks per day, while women should have no more than one. This is because excessive alcohol can damage the health of your liver, pancreas and stomach. Not to mention upping the chances of having a car crash.

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Take stock of your mental health. Physicians cited in the "Redeye" article on health for 20-somethings noted that young adulthood is a critical time to identify and seek to understand mental health problems, which usually appear by the time you’re 24. The most common mental health challenge is depression, which some might be surprised to hear affects over 1 in 10 young women and 6 percent of young men. Take care of yourself and don’t go it alone; discuss any possible problems with your regular doctor, a knowledgeable professional who can recommend options that are in your best interest. Your mental outlook colors how you view the world and can be affected by chemical imbalances that occur as you grow up; mental health is an important part of your overall health.

Fight obesity with diet and exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009, about 2.4 million more adults were obese than in 2007. If you’re in your mid 20s, you’re still forming your eating and exercise patterns that will become routine for your whole life, so don’t let yourself be part of the “new obese.” You should exercise at least 20 minutes a day, five days per week, according to most experts. Make eating healthy fun by picking out recipes with family and friends; make exercise enjoyable by joining a gym with classes, a dance studio or a recreational athletic team or club.

Learn and apply safe sex methods and get tested. Sexually transmitted infections peak during young adulthood, and 45 percent of women between 20 and 24 test positive for HPV, or human papillomavirus. If you’re having unprotected sex you should get tested, whether you’re a man or a woman. Women under 26 can get a vaccine for HPV and males under 26 have the option to get the HPV vaccine to guard against genital warts.