health in MY 20's

Being in our 20s is awesome. We’ve got a new freedom to do what we want and live how we want. That comes with new responsibilities, including being responsible for our own health.

HEALTH AWARENESS IN MY 20’s

There are a few things we need to be extra aware of in our 20s when it comes to our health. Taking risks can be a bit of a problem. Here are some of the most common risks we expose ourselves to that we should be careful about:

  • Drinking too much
  • Smoking and other drugs
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Self harm and suicide
  • Injuries from car accidents

20’s health check

Make the time to visit the doctor for a health check-up every couple of years, even if you don’t feel sick.

If you are at university, doctor’s appointments are usually free. Prices vary otherwise, but are lower if you register your records with one clinic.

For all the information you need on getting a health check-up, including booking your appointment and what to ask for, download our Men’s Health Check-ups brochure.

These are some of the topics you might want to discuss at your health check.

  • Sexual health
  • Blood pressure
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Weight
  • Lumps in your balls
  • Moles on your skin

STEPS TO BETTER HEALTH IN OUR 20’s

There’s a lot we can do to make our lives healthier and happier in our 20s and it doesn’t take a lot of extra effort. The way we treat our bodies now is going to have huge outcomes on our health when we reach our 40s, 50s and beyond, so this stuff is really important. Check out what you can do.

20's check-ups schedule

Blood pressure 2 years
Blood tests & urinalysis 3 years
Eye health 10 years
Flu shot Yearly
Mental health Regularly
Oral health Yearly
Physical exam 3-5 years
STIs Regularly
Skin self exam 1-2 months
Testicle self exam 3 months
Tetanus & diphtheria booster 10 years

WHAT CAN I DO?

It’s so easy to pick up bad eating habits these days. Takeaways, candy bars and energy drinks are often the easiest option. But they’re making us really unhealthy and fat. We’ve got to make an effort to cut down on that stuff and pay attention to what we’re eating. Choose food that feeds your mind and muscles, real food like meat and veges.

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When we start working full time a lot of us give up sport. We need to make time to keep up with our team sports, going to the gym, running, or whatever exercise makes us happy. Being active is a good way to stay in shape and it’s good for our mental health too.

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Us kiwis drink way too much. We get trashed and make stupid decisions and do stupid things. Not to mention the damage we’re doing to our own physical health. Liver damage in our 20s can affect us for the rest of our lives and force us to give up the joys of drinking altogether when we get really sick later on. Be kinder to your liver and get into the habit of having a few alcohol free days a week. It’s a matter of breaking old habits and forming new ones.

We should also think about why we’re drinking. If we’re feeling so anxious and panicky we can’t cope without alcohol then that’s not healthy. Make an appointment to talk about it with your doctor.

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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are more common than you might think. Genital warts, chlamydia, gonorrhea, lice – all pretty nasty. But worst of all is AIDS. It’s easy to forget about the consequences in the heat of passion, so think about them beforehand. Use condoms and go to a clinic to get yourself checked out for STIs even if you don’t have any physical symptoms. You can get up to 144 condoms on prescription for $5 so ask for them the next time you go to the doctor. Gay or straight, AIDS and STIs don’t discriminate.

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Check your balls in the shower once a month for lumps and changes in size. Testicular cancer is most common in men in our 20s but it can be fully treatable if we get on to it straight away. If you notice anything unusual with your balls, see a doctor straight away.

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Cigarettes kill us slowly and painfully. Lung cancer is a hideous disease and you really don’t want to get it. So maybe think about cutting down or quitting altogether. Marijuana is another popular recreational drug. Don’t forget that it’s illegal though so don’t get caught. And if you’re a regular user, you might be causing yourself damage and robbing yourself of motivation. P or Ice is a drug to stay away from altogether, we’ve all heard the stories. If you want help with drug use and addiction, there’s plenty around, you just need to ask for it. 

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If you are going through a rough time, or think one of your mates is, make an effort to talk about it. Talking can help put things in perspective and give us ideas about what to do next. Bottling it up can lead to additional stress and unhappiness we just don’t need. Talk to your mates, tell them what’s going on with you, and ask them how they’re doing. Take a look at our Coaching & Conversations brochure.

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When we move away from home we often lose contact with our family doctor if we ever had one. To find a doctor near you with hours that work around your job, go online to Healthpoint.co.nz and search for GPs (General Practitioners). You can ask to see a man or woman doctor, whichever you feel more comfortable with. Once you’ve found someone you like, ask to register at that clinic and get your records transferred there. Registering reduces the cost of your visits and lets you see the same doctor every time you go.

Have a check up with a dentist and look after those pearly whites. Brushing and flossing everyday is so worth the effort. Do it now and avoid painful root canals, missing teeth and really expensive dentist visits later on. You can find a dentist near you at Healthpoint.co.nz.