Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
People in their 20s generally have the luxury of leaning on a fast metabolism and glowing skin to keep them looking youthful and healthy. But how you treat your body during this defining decade sets the stage for your health in the years to come. With that in mind, Well+Good recently created a comprehensive wellness guide specifically for 20-somethings, touching on everything from working out to nutrition. By enlisting the help of celebrity trainer Laurent Amzallag and holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman, here's what you should be doing in your 20s to stay fit, healthy, and happy in your 30s:
at the gym
"Women in their 20s often don’t have responsibilities like family or kids yet, so this is the time to create healthy habits. If you do that now, it will be much easier to keep them going in your 30s and beyond," said Amzallag to Well+Good. "Your metabolism slows down as you get older—especially if you lose muscle mass—so this is the time that you want to start building that muscle." He recommends high-intensity, hour-long conditioning workouts four to five times a week, like Orangetheory or Barry's Bootcamp.
in the medicine cabinet
"Final exams, internships, late nights, and a full social calendar all make it a little tricky to get your nutrients in," acknowledges Goodman. She recommends taking a daily multivitamin, like Pure Encapsulations, or nourishing your body with vitamins D and K to strengthen bone health (she recommends these liquid drops from Ortho Molecular). Finally, she also suggests adding spirulina, a powdered supplement, to your morning smoothies to ward off any iron deficiencies, which are reportedly common in 20-something women.
at the dinner table
Leafy greens, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats from omega-3s top Goodman's grocery list for women in their 20s. Chia seeds fit the bill for fiber, while maca powder can balance hormones and relieve PMS symptoms. As for dieting, Goodman cautions against anything extreme. "If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, without causing future damage to your metabolism, it’s better to take it slow," she told Well+Good. "Don’t follow extreme calorie restrictions and don’t fall for fad diets—these are two very common ways to cause a lot of issues down the road."
Head over to Well+Good for their full wellness guide for women in their 20s, and share your own health tips below!