Aging begins at birth. Even so, the way we age changes with each successive decade of life. What health goals should you have when you are in your teens and twenties? The following tips can help you adopt habits that will maximize your health now while preparing you for a better future.
Building bone is especially important for women, who typically lose bone density after levels of estrogen decline following menopause. But most bone density accumulates during your early years, so now is the best time to take these preventive actions.
Head injuries in youth can increase your risk of developing dementia later in life. And injuries to other body parts can result in a host of chronic health problems later on. Remember to:
Hearing loss can be cumulative, caused by exposure to loud noise over time. Avoid exposure by:
Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 whenever you spend time outdoors. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps that emit ultraviolet radiation and can cause skin damage, increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Many studies have linked poverty to poor health in later years. Building a solid nest egg may allow you to live a healthier lifestyle as you age.
Avoiding multiple partners and consistently using condoms can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including the human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of genital warts and cervical cancer.
Vaccines to prevent HPV are typically recommended for children age 11 or 12, before they become sexually active. For girls who have not already gotten the vaccine, it is recommended up to age 26. For boys who have not already gotten the shot, the vaccine is recommended up to age 21.
Group Health recommends that most women between ages 21 and 64 get a Pap test every three years to screen for cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor about the schedule that’s right for you. Group Health also recommends that all sexually active women from age 16 to 24 have regular screening for chlamydia, the most common STD. Women age 25 and older who are at high risk for STDs also should be screened.
Healthy people this age should begin having their blood pressure checked at every visit.
Advice based on your current decade of life.