Imagine yourself ten years from today. Really try to picture yourself – where you are, what you’re wearing, what you’re doing.
What about twenty years from today? What will you look like?
What will your future self think about the routines you’ve established and the habits you’ve created?
Will he admire your discipline, or will he reprimand you for not taking better care of yourself?
If you’re anything like me, you probably have some healthy habits and some bad habits. And that’s perfectly normal.
But remember this: it’s completely within your control to create and maintain healthy habits, and every single day is a new opportunity to do so.
Note: Huge thanks to Rogaine® for making this post possible! According to research, 32% of men under 35 experience hereditary hair loss.
Truth be told, while I’m not 6’2″ and don’t have perfect skin, I’m lucky to have a full head of hair. But I know several guys my age who are already seeing the effects of hereditary hair loss.
Hereditary hair loss is a progressive condition. If you don’t do something about it, you’ll continue to lose more and more hair over time.
If used regularly (twice daily), Rogaine® Unscented Foam (available at Walgreens) can treat hereditary hair loss and help keep your hair there for a long time.
Ready to make future you proud? Stick with these five healthy habits:
#1: Moisturizer Your Face
No matter what kind of skin you have, moisturizing should be part of your daily skin care routine.
If you don’t take care of your skin, it will age prematurely. Wrinkles and age spots will make you look older than you really are.
Even if you’d like to look older now, I promise you’ll want to look younger one day. Just ask anyone over 50.
If you don’t have a skin care routine, you need to get one. Here are two guides to help you get started:
Basic Skin Care Routine for Men (good for men w/ relatively clear skin)
Skin Care Routine for Adult Acne (this is my exact daily routine)
Either way, you have to use moisturizer on your face. And don’t skimp on this. The family size bottle of body lotion won’t work.
Get some moisturizer that’s made specifically for faces.
#2: Floss Every Day
I get it: flossing is a pain. It’s just one more thing you’re supposed to do everyday. But you know what’s worse than having to floss?
Cavities and gum disease. Even if you don’t have these serious issues, flossing helps prevent two other problems that many guys have:
Gross teeth and bad breath.
It kills me when meet an otherwise handsome man with bad teeth and/or bad breath.
You probably brush your teeth once or twice a day, and you (hopefully) get your teeth cleaned and checked professionally at least once a year.
But you also need to floss. It’s actually really easy if you use a long flosser. These make flossing a breeze, so there’s really no excuse not to do it.
I usually floss before bed and after eating certain kinds of food (you know: steak, apples, popcorn, etc.).
Bottom line: floss every day. Future you will be glad you did.
#3: Wear Sunscreen
Guess what the most popular type of cancer is in the U.S.? It’s skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that “one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime”.
Yet most people don’t wear sunscreen unless they plan on lying on the beach all day. And I can’t blame them. Applying sunscreen isn’t convenient, and it can feel kind of gross and greasy.
But I’d rather deal with the inconvenience than get skin cancer. Wouldn’t you? Even if you don’t get cancer, your skin will get all weathered and leathery like a divorcee who retired in Palm Beach ten years too early.
Here are a couple of things you can do to make the sunscreen habit easier to stick with:
- Get some lightweight, non-oily sunscreen for your face (I prefer zinc-based sunscreen for faces).
- Put it on whenever you’re going to be in direct sunlight for more than 30 minutes.
- Keep a big bottle of regular sunscreen in your house/office/car so you never forget to bring it.
- Try to buy products with SPF built in (moisturizer, lip balm, etc.).
I didn’t make wearing sunscreen a habit until I moved to the southwest U.S. The sun is so strong here that you really don’t have a choice.
But the thing is, even if the sun doesn’t feel strong, it’s still bad for your skin.
So, like the song says, wear sunscreen.
#4: Drink Water
Imagine going a whole day without one sip of water. You’d be pretty thirsty, right?
That’s how your body feels when you wake up in the morning. You’ve just gone 6-8 hours without any water, and you’re dehydrated.
Dehydration can cause dry mouth, headaches and fatigue. It may also make your skin dry, dull, wrinkly and prone to blemishes.
The solution? Drink lots of water right when you wake up. Here’s my morning ritual:
- Get out of bed
- Make the bed
- Brush my teeth
- Rinse my face
- Moisture my face
- Drink 24 oz. of water
I do this before eating anything or drinking coffee, and it feels fantastic. I’ve become conditioned to crave water every morning, so I feel sluggish and dehydrated without it.
Most days, I’ll drink at least another 72 oz. of water throughout the day (more if I work out).
Many people find it hard to chug water in the morning. Here’s my advice: get a great water bottle, fill it up before bed, and put it on your bathroom sink.
This way, it’s right there for you when you’re done with your bathroom routine, and the water will be room temperature, which makes it much easier to drink quickly.
#5: Exercise Daily
Aerobic physical activity is one of the best ways to keep your heart in good shape and maintain a healthy weight.
I know, I know…you’ve heard that a million times before, but do you have a solid exercise routine? If not, why not start today?
To be honest, I’ve never been able to stick with a traditional workout routine. I’ve joined various gyms, but I always get bored of lifting weights and running on treadmills.
I prefer to get my exercise through sports and martial arts, where the activity is the focus, and the workout is just a byproduct.
But that’s me. You might be different. If you’re into strength training or distance running, that’s awesome! Stick with it.
If you’re not a fan of the gym or you hate running, you should try to find something that gets you excited. Here are some ideas:
- Muay Thai or Brazilian jiu-jitsu
- Pickup basketball or soccer
- CrossFit or kettlebells
- Tennis (easy to start, pretty much free)
- Indoor rock climbing (you can do bouldering alone, without any ropes or gear)
- Mountain biking
- Yoga (can be as intense as you want)
- Trail running
The point is, find something you love to do that just happens to be a great workout, and do it as much as you can.
I hope this post inspires you to create and maintain heathy habits in your life. When you feel unmotivated, think about future you and try to make him proud.
Thanks again to Rogaine® for sponsoring this post.
What are your healthy habits? Leave a comment below!