My worries about turning 25 have grown stronger as the Big Day approaches. (cue the side-eye glances from everyone above the age of 30).
But, there’s good reason to be. Among other issues (weddings, 401ks, babies??), our mid-twenties are the time when weird shit starts happening to our bodies. And, after experiencing a hangover that rendered me immobile last weekend, I went on a mission to find out what other surprises would be in store when I hit that quarter-century mark.
Beware — it doesn’t look pretty.
Hangovers suck (more)
Basically, your liver is starting to fail.
But, your enzymes just ain’t what they used to be. As you enter your mid-20s, your body doesn’t metabolize alcohol as well as you did in high school. That means that this toxic thing (acetaldehyde) stays in your system longer — hence, the inability to move from your couch.
Also, weirdly enough — your brain is more mature (although it may not feel like it). So, your stress system values the boring shit like fancy dinners and The Ballet instead of getting crunk on your elementary school playground.
Acne isn’t going away
Surprisingly, breakouts don’t stop at the age of fifteen.
In your mid-twenties, you can look forward to a second round of your teenage woes: acne. Changing hormones and added stress make you more prone to breakouts, even when you thought you were in the clear.
And, although your skin’s suppleness should now be in it’s prime — this is the best time to start preserving it. Think: moisturizers, eye creme, raiding your mom’s bathroom cabinet. The effects of aging on the skin are quite visible, and there’s no going back once it’s begun to sag (except, Botox).
Days of fast metabolism are dwindling
Hop on that treadmill, folks. You’ve only got about five years left of speedy metabolism before last night’s pizza goes straight to your thighs.
Because we have optimal muscle mass in our 20s, our body adapts well to working out — especially cardio. But, when we enter our 30s, our metabolism begins to slow and our muscle & bone density start to decrease.
What ends up in their place? Fat.
So, walk (or run) to the nearest gym to get that beach body you never had.
Brain patterns are basically set
As we hit the age of 25, our brain has nearly finished forming.
Well, it’s not like we wake up the moment we turn 25 and have our shit together. But, our prefrontal cortex — the area of the brain that controls your impulses, attention, and judgement has finally melded itself together.
Now that we’re fancy adults, we may think twice before taking that extra shot at the bar, or buying those shoes just because. Or, probably not.
While all these things pretty much suck, it does send a clear signal that Being Healthy isn’t something we can save for Mondays any longer. Saturday night binges and weekday all-nighters won’t cut it.
So, whether it’s getting into a good (any) skin-care routine, learning to make an actual dinner (nachos from the microwave won’t do), or just paying more attention to your body — we’ve got to start now.
Because, if this is the shit we have to deal with when we hit 25, what happens at the age of 30?