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Health Lessons to Know by Age 21

21 Health Lessons Every 21-Year-Old Should Know

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of handing a bartender your ID for the first time, but turning 20-fun is much more than ordering drinks at the bar — it's a time of growth, change, and a lot of confusion. Taking care of your body and mind will keep you sane through stressful times and help you fully embrace the incredible ones. And while this chapter will bring a lot of life-changing friendships, unforgettable adventures, and irreplaceable opportunities, sometimes the most defining lessons come from the times that seem impossibly challenging. Stay one step ahead of life's unpredictable twists and turns with these 21 tips.

1. Know how many drinks you can have without waking up with regrets.

2. Don't depend on caffeine to get you through the day.

3. Save takeout for girls' night, and learn how to cook healthy meals for yourself.

4. Find the physical activity that works for you, whether it's lifting, swimming, dancing, biking, running, boxing, or anything that gets you moving.

5. But also push yourself to challenge your body in new ways. Yoga, karate, rowing, gymnastics, hiking, or barre, anyone?

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6. Take your makeup off before you go to sleep.

7. Don't Uber anywhere you could walk to.

8. Learn how you de-stress. If physical activity, talking it out, or distracting yourself doesn't work, try journaling, meditating, or getting outside.

9. Find someone you can talk to. From friends to parents to coaches to coworkers to professors, look for someone who listens.

10. Don't underestimate sleep. Make it a point to get seven to eight hours a night — your body will thank you later.

11. Do things that scare you. Strive to see the world that waits outside of your comfort zone.

12. Embrace your body. See your so-called flaws as the one-of-a-kind features that set you apart.

13. Get established with a physician you feel comfortable with. The same goes for a dentist, eye doctor, and gynecologist.

14. Use a daily moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15.

15. Find a fitness center that motivates you. Still stuck in a workout rut? Join a gym with friends and add partner workouts to your routine.

16. Buy a reusable water bottle, and keep it with you during the day.

17. Realize smoking cigarettes doesn't make you look cool.

18. Discover something you're passionate about — sports, hobbies, subjects, you name it.

19. Know your strengths and weaknesses. If you know you procrastinate, set a self-made deadline a day or two before an assignment is actually due.

20. Practice safe sex. Have an open conversation with your gynecologist about birth control, and know if you need to be tested for STIs.

21. Accept that you're not going to have everything figured out.

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