Jenna Dewan working out
Popsugar | Popsugar

Lifestyle Mistakes We Don't Even Realize We're Making

When you’re in your 20s, it’s easy to feel invincible. You don’t think that tanning outside without sunscreen will harm your skin long-term or that the weekend benders won’t potentially turn into alcoholism. 

But the truth is that lifestyle mistakes have consequences. The negative impact could show months from now, or years. 

To help you get ahead of your own health now, here are the 25 lifestyle mistakes to avoid. 

Not getting enough sleep

Cat sleeping
Unsplash | Kate Stone Matheson

Most of us haven't had a consistent sleep schedule our whole lives. We spent our 20s going to sleep at 3 a.m. and waking up at 2 p.m.

Sleep is so vital to every area of our lives, so it's important to nail a schedule down now.

Not saving money for retirement

Broke woman shaking piggybank
Giphy | Insatiable

"My answer was investing in a 401k, especially if your employer matches. I wish I did this in my early 20’s. I have coworkers that are in their late 60s and only started in the last 10 years and do not have much. That’s also the reason they won’t retire, or feel they can’t." - u/JinkiesGang

Tanning without sunscreen

Tanning lady from There's Something About Mary
Film Sane | Paramount Pictures

That deep tan you wanted at the moment will catch up to you when you least expect it.

If you make this a habit, this could lead to premature aging, sunspots, or even skin cancer. Always lather up!

Wrecking your ears with excessive noise exposure

Unsplash | C D-X

"Even if you don't care about losing your hearing, you don't want catastrophic tinnitus. It's completely disabling. And nobody tells you that you can get it years or decades after the noise exposure. I just thought, 'I'll knock this off before it gets too bad.'" - u/Lupercali

Not eating right

Woman eating bad food
Giphy | Laff

Decades of doing this add up.

Cardiovascular disease is from years of buildup, which means that a heart attack at 50 didn't just come out of nowhere. It's best to eat healthily and exercise daily now before it's too late.

Binge drinking

Guys drinking beer
Unsplash | John Arano

"It's a slow and steady process towards crippling alcoholism, you think you can get away with it in your twenties but by the time you're 30 and you've lost all your friends you're drinking alone and you wonder what the [expletive] happened." - u/proteusON

Being careless with debt and credit

Isla Fisher holding a pair of gloves
Slate Magazine | Columbia

You should always be careful about buying things that you can't buy outright.

What if you lose your job? Suddenly you're stuck with a huge credit card bill that you can't afford. This can ruin your life for many years.

Not making tiny changes and sticking to them

Man who is stressed out
Giphy | Global TV

"I know that I had an all-or-nothing attitude in my 20s. If I tried my hand at painting and my first few attempts were crap, I'd drop it. If I tried saving money and saw how little it was, I'd spend it." - u/Relationships4life

Sticking to a career you hate

Chandler Bing at work on Friends
Fortune | NBC

"Adult you" may not like the career you chose when you were just a teenager.

It's never too late to change your career path! If you're not enjoying it now, chances are you won't in another 20 or 30 years.

Treating your body like it’s a rental

Woman making bad choices
Giphy | Much

"Look after it. You will be living in this body for many years to come. Don’t burn out the clutch by 27 and live with the consequences for 60 more years." - u/RedPanda1188

Not looking after your dental hygiene

Unsplash | Superkitina

If you're not taking good care of your dental hygiene in your 20s, you're not going to have a good time with it later in life.

There will be pain in your teeth and pain from receiving an expensive dental bill.

Buying a brand-new car

Brand-new car
Unsplash | Grahame Jenkins

"I understand needing a car. You do not need a 40-60k car fresh off the lot with a $700+ monthly payment over the next 6-7 years. Yes it’s nice to have a flashy powerful car. But it really sucks to constantly be broke because you’re paying for a car that is constantly depreciating in value." - u/Elite4alex

Not going to therapy when you need it

Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

"I'm still in my twenties, and my life is improving a lot since I started it. Before, I was like naaah how can a few sessions fix what ruined me for years? Well, at least it helped, wish I went sooner." - u/No-Mathematician678

Not drinking enough water

Jesse drinking water nervously
Giphy | Breaking Bad

Water is needed to survive. It helps flush out toxins from your body, makes you hydrated, and keeps illnesses at bay. Don't skip out on this important way to keep yourself healthy. Aim for the required amount of weight for your body size.


Unsplash | Andres Siimon

The consequences of smoking are devastating.

"The reality is that you won't just die earlier, but those final years will really suck--specifically when it comes to lung damage issues since you just feel like your choking all the time." - u/Dr_Esquire

Eating too fast

Winston wanting to eat
Giphy |

We know it's hard not to scarf food down when it looks So. Good. But, doing so contributes to you actually eating more food per meal. Eating too fast also means that your body can't absorb the nutrients.

Settling down in the mediocre relationships

Sad woman
Unsplash | Eric Ward

We have one life. Don't waste it!

"I work with some gorgeous, smart, successful, and driven young women and watching them take [expetive] from some lazy poorly groomed unmotivated of over and over is so demoralizing." - u/jochi1543

Not eating in moderation

Woman eating
Giphy | Superstore

You may have heard that you can't outrun a bad diet. Boy, is this true!

You could exercise all you want — run several miles, go hiking, etc — but if your diet is horrible, your hard efforts go to waste. Eat in moderation instead by following the 80/20 rule.

Not living with your parents in your early twenties

Adult son having breakfast with his parents
Growing Faith | Warner Bros.

"A lot of people want to move out of their parents' house right away because they want to be independent, which is fair, but living with your parents is a great way to save money and have a head start when you do move out." - u/EtherealNightSky

Not stretching regularly to stay flexible when you get older

If you're waking up with aches and pains now, just imagine how your body will feel when you're 60. That's why stretching and mobility exercises are so important to do now to ward off stiffness later.

Not getting their blood tested at least annually

Blood work
Unsplash | Nguyễn Hiệp

"All of a sudden, when you're 40 and you get a test done, you realize you have a whole host of issues that could have SO EASILY been prevented had you known 20 years earlier when things in your body slowly started to change for the worse." - u/coach-of-finance

Trying to take on too many changes at once

Overwhelmed woman
Giphy | Lifetime

Take this article for instance. After reading, you may say, "okay, I need to drink more water, exercise, change my eating habits, stretch, and eat healthily."

All true statements. But if you take on too much at once, you're more likely to fail. Small habits are the key!

Getting physically lazy

Lazy woman on couch
Unsplash | Adrian Swancar

"Luckily, the human body is resilient, but it certainly doesn't get easier as you get older. Staying physically active doesn't even mean you have to go to the gym or go running 3× a week. Play Frisbee golf, play basketball, swim, play hockey, baseball, whatever. Just move your body around enough to break a sweat for 20-30min, and do that 3 times a week. Just. Don't. Ever. Stop." - u/deleted

Not getting yearly checkups

Medical checkup
Unsplash | Online Marketing

Regular healthy screenings are an important way to maintain your health. You can learn about severe health problems and prevent them from getting worse. Things like cancer can also be detected before it's too late.

H/T: Reddit