Earlier this week, Reddit user Cairocatastrophe left this pro tip for young people: “If you’re young, don’t forget that you’ll have to inhabit the same body in your forties. Do not beat it into the ground like it’s a rental.”

“A love of danger and continually pushing your body to its limit will take a toll later in life. Heavy alcohol or drug consumption will also catch up to you. Even forgetting sunblock will eventually cost you. At the very least eat right, start a skincare routine, and stay hydrated!”


Since then, the thread has gone viral, as thousands of people began sharing health tips they wish they had known earlier in their lives. Here are some of the top-voted tips:


“Teeth. I wish I had taken better care of my teeth.”

Close up of a woman smiling

Rolf Bruderer / Getty Images



“Electric toothbrush, wish I had known how good they are earlier in life. Doubt I’d have nearly as many cavities.”



“Spent my twenties pushing the envelope of an extreme sport. Now, in my thirties, my knees are shot, among other joint issues. I’m sure it will only get more rough from here.

The thing is, I’ve heard this all before when I was younger. It doesn’t resonate until it’s real. And by then, its too late.”



“Try to eat right…You can save your future self a ton of diseases/issues!”



“This will sound obvious, but it wasn’t to me. When a joint hurts, listen to it. If you’re at the gym or something, don’t ‘push through’ the pain. Don’t run on a sore ankle β€” that kind of stuff.

If you have access to it, go to a physiotherapist for any joint pain, even if it’s minor.”

Sebastian Kaulitzki / Getty Images



“Be mindful of high-impact activities like running and jumping. Biking and swimming are good forms of exercise that are easy on the joints. Also, staying well hydrated helps the cartilage in your joints to stay healthy for longer.”



“Learn to keep an eye on your blood pressure. It’s important later.”



“I started moisturizing at 40. I kinda wish I started earlier, like 30 or 35. You don’t need much, it won’t break the bank, but it’ll ward off the crow’s feet for a spell. You’re gonna age, so it depends on how well you wear it and how prepped you are to do so.”

Man putting on moisturizer

Flashpop / Getty Images



“I had a dermatologist say if you can see by daylight inside, you should be wearing sunscreen. I thought that was a bit extreme, but I started wearing sunscreen daily and did so for 25 years. I live in an extremely sunny place. I also started wearing sunglasses. I am older now and have perfect skin. I have no vision problems. People made fun of me for being so conscientious, but now I am glad I did.”



“Take care of your ears. Don’t go to concerts or very loud places unprotected. Don’t listen to music with headphones for too long at a time and too loud. You only have one pair of ears and when the beeping starts to hit, you’re screwed for life.”



“I’ve been deaf for about 15 years now. I can confirm that not being able to hear sucks. Taking care of your ears is more than just wearing noise-canceling ear plugs, it’s also making sure that you get prompt care if you suspect an ear infection and keeping an eye out for sinus issues!”



“Protect your back. Get a strong core first. Lift with your legs. Pay attention to sitting and standing posture. Spines don’t really recover. You don’t want to have a bad back at 30 like I did.”

Man holding his lower back in pain

Prostock-studio / Getty Images



“Absolutely, I wouldn’t trade the memories, but wish I’d taken better precautions and had more common sense! I don’t think you really register your own mortality until you’re in your thirties, and by then it’s too late. Injuries stop healing properly, you stop bouncing back as quickly.”



“I partied very hard in high school and college. I’m 30-ish and my body is trashed; everything hurts all of the time. I can barely make a closed fist. My knees, back, etc, just in constant pain. Plus, 15 years of smoking a pack of day is catching up to me pretty badly.

It was nuts how quickly I went from an invincible twentysomething into an old man.”



“Okay, well past forties (I’m 64 if you have to know), but I still downhill ski a couple times a week during the season and mountain bike year-round. Secret? Start regular exercise now, include some yoga, take up a lifelong sport, and don’t stop.”



“I wish I had started wearing sunglasses outside sooner than 35. Between snowboarding, skiing, boat fishing, always at a camp or on the water, doing something (wake boarding, kitesurfing, diving, etc.) I’ve developed pretty deep crow’s feet (which really doesn’t bother me), but definitely makes me look older than my actual age of 43.”

Woman holding a pineapple while wearing red sunglasses

Patchanan Wongchana / Getty Images



“Wear good shoes and pay attention to even minor foot pain, especially if you’re on your feet all day. Once you have a problem with your feet, I don’t think it ever really goes away.”



“Get good eating habits while you’re young!

You can get away with eating junk food when you’re young β€” but bad eating habits tend to stay with you. People are very reluctant to change their diets.”

“And when you’re older, bad eating habits will give you high cholesterol and atherosclerosis; increasing your risk of cancer, etc.”



“Sleep is so important as well. Try to get on a schedule if you’re able to ASAP. Seven to nine hours of sleep will do so much more for your long-term physical and mental health than a lot of these tips.

Don’t skimp, and reevaluate your time budget if you find yourself in a routine where you’re continually entering a sleep deficit.”

Peopleimages / Getty Images



“Yeah, I’m in my mid-forties and I’m feeling this post. I’m glad that the youth of today have a lot more information at their disposal. Yes, we had a hell of a time in the ’90s, but from what I have seen, the next generations have started to learn from our experiences.

Everything in moderation folks, there’s always a lot more life to live.”



“This will get lost in the other comments, but remember that your physical shape will change as you get older. Clinging desperately onto a past appearance of your body will potentially harbor low self-esteem, grief, and distress. Treat yourself with understanding, respect, appreciation, and kindness. Create that body positivity β€” you deserve to feel good about yourself.”


You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.


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