***A COUPLE BASIC PRINCIPLES AND PREMISES***:The reason to be pro-active with your health when young (and seemingly invincible) is less to do with danger of disease in your 20s than with the danger of developing or just continuing bad habits from childhood and college, mainly eating crap all the time, not being active, being reckless and careless with how you treat your body, etc. In the simplest terms, AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE. Even more important, if you develop good habits early on in "adult life," you will lead a healthier and more fulfilling life than your peers who could care less. -> One other important thing to consider now: eating well and moving your ass and taking good care of yourself now will mean much less money and time spent treating diseases down the road, since you are busy preventing them now. -> It's SUPPOSED to be hard, this adulthood thing. No free ride, no free lunch. Now is the time to get yourself together and take good care.
Aging is essentially inflammation and oxidation, which the organism struggles increasingly to control and counteract with age. While both are completely normal processes, lifestyle choices early on in eating, exercising, stress management and genetics all affect how the body responds and recovers. YOUR GOAL: control both and optimize your body's response to each.
Take care to eat well and be physically active, manage stress effectively and be good to others and yourself (ethical, moral, a mensch); keep a clean conscience and be grateful for everything you have in life. Pray regularly and have a rich spiritual life with meaning and family and good friends. All closely related things.
Be unreasonably resilient and eternally an optimist. Faith is the over-riding anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. See the many studies showing people of faith have higher survival and recovery rates from cancer, serious surgery, etc. not an accident there. - -
Some of the best anti-bacterial/anti-viral/anti-inflammatory substances found in nature: Fresh or dried ginger Unrefined honey Aloe leaf Bee propolis Pine oil Grapefruit oil -> KEEP ALL OR AT LEAST SOME WITHIN EASY REACH AT HOME. Use regularly and/or as needed. Give gifts of these to good friends.