Your 20s are a great time to start making healthy lifestyle decisions because you’re still young. On the flip side, if you’re not careful your bad habits could have long-term effects on your health.
While chasing your dream – juggling work, relationships, businesses and academics – you may end up making poor decisions when it comes to your health. But allowing yourself to lead a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be dramatic. In fact, starting your health journey in your twenties gives you better flexibility to incorporate it into your lifestyle as you see fit.
“Maintaining or even starting your health journey early gives you the advantage of youth and time, and it also makes it much easier to develop a routine around any health programme you choose,” says personal trainer Mandilakhe Mzamane.
He credits his young self for where he is now. “I was always an athletic person growing up. One could say I had an attachment to sport growing up.”
“I got into this industry because I enjoy sports, fitness and health. I wanted something that best combines these three elements.”
When Mzamane was in Grade 11, he saw an article which stated that South Africa was among the ten fattest countries in the world. He wanted to contribute to solving the problem.
Over time, physical, psychological and even social health are all impacted by habits. To deal with bad habits, find a strategy that works for you, your personality and your needs, and that you love doing. “Try out several ideas and tailor something that works best for you”, he advises.
Drinking water is a good way to start.
Hydration is a simple yet important part of health and wellness that is often overlooked, says Mzamane. Get this habit well established for instant benefits from little input.
A very large part of taking care of yourself is also eating a variety of healthy foods. If you’re attempting to get healthy or to maintain your health, you’ll want to avoid foods that are high in sugar as well as processed food, animal fats and some fast foods, says Mzamane.
Find your rhythm
“Everyone is different and so are their needs,” he goes on.
As far as customised solutions go, there are many ways to stay physically active and healthy. Someone starting out may be confused or even overwhelmed by all the options. However, trial and error is the best way to go about it. This is a good time to reflect on why you wish to embark on this journey, he says.
Healthy body, healthy mind
Additionally, all sorts of exercise and workouts are beneficial to your welfare and mental health.
If you want to relieve tension, boxing and being outside are great options. For those who don’t want anything violent, joining a gym is a good option.
Some of the most popular activities for adrenaline seekers are rock climbing, fight clubs and contact sports. Yoga, pilates and tai chi are all good options if you want to relax while still being active.
“We frequently make the mistake of looking for excuses rather than looking for time.”
“There’s always a good [excuse for not exercising] around the corner, isn’t there? ‘I can do this whole health thing when I’m in my late twenties.’ But life only gets busier and your health may deteriorate as you age. Before you know it, you’re on chronic medication or making doctor’s appointments far more frequently than you’d like.”
Mzamane says personal trainers face numerous challenges all over the world. One of the most common, is winter. People tend to “hibernate” during winter and the limited number of members at gym facilities results in poor business.
Good antidotes to the winter slump – both for clients who need the activity and personal trainers who need the business – is to diversify routines. Do group work and corporate events, make up sports teams, train in adult homes and learn completely new skills.
Just keep those hearts pumping.