14 things people in their 40s want 20-somethings to know about aging


Jun. 5 2024, Published 5:01 p.m. ET

Life is full of lessons, many of which we only truly understand as we grow older. On Reddit, user ckarnny asked, "People in their 40s, what’s something people in their 20s don’t realize is going to affect them when they age?" The responses were filled with wisdom, humor, and valuable insights.

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Finding Hobbies

Engaging in interests outside of work can bring immense joy and a sense of accomplishment. Redditor ckarnny stressed, "Finding hobbies and other interests is more important than you think." This highlights how hobbies can counteract the monotony of daily routines and enrich our lives.

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Coping with Loss

As we age, the inevitability of loss becomes a stark reality. Redditor Funandgeeky reflected, "As you get older, you are just going to lose people. Not just your older relatives, either. I've already lost a few friends who died way too young." This somber truth emphasizes the importance of cherishing our loved ones while we can.

Dealing with Stress

Stress management emerged as a crucial lesson. Redditor On3l4sttim3 reflected, "When you get to the age that you start to realize most of the shit you've worried about in life wasn't even worth worrying over. If it's causing you stress and you don't need it, walk away." Understanding and managing stress is essential for long-term mental health.

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The Importance of Stretching

The significance of regular stretching was highlighted by multiple users. Redditor CreditoReddito advised, "Stretch you fools. Stretch every day... and strengthen your joints." Another user, dropofRED_, agreed, sharing their personal transformation: "I was so stiff and sore all the time until I started stretching my legs, shoulders, arms, and back for 10 mins when I woke up and 10 mins when I went to sleep. Within a month, I was so much more limber."

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Be Careful with Your Knees

Knee injuries can have long-lasting effects. Redditor That80sguyspimp warned, "That knee injury you think you recovered from is going to come back to haunt you." Their doctor had cautioned that early injuries could lead to problems in later life, emphasizing the need for proper care and attention to injuries. Another user, G_Art33, shared their doctor's advice: "That’s what the doctor said after my third knee dislocation back in highschool (twice in the right once on the left from varsity football) he said 'I don’t want to scare you but this is probably going to haunt you in your late 30s to early 40s, this is a lot of damage that you will recover from now but may cause problems down the road.'"

Wear Decent Shoes

The importance of proper footwear cannot be overstated. Redditor PettyAssWitch420 advised, "Decent shoes with proper support can prevent joint issues in your feet, knees, hips, and back." Investing in good footwear is a simple yet crucial step to prevent long-term problems.

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Saving for Retirement

Financial planning is vital. Redditor gothimbackin23 lamented, "Saving for retirement. Wish I started sooner." Starting early with retirement savings can significantly ease financial pressures later in life.

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Maintaining Relationships

Sustaining friendships requires effort and intentionality. Redditor MarcusQuintus shared, "Having friends in your 20s is accidental. Having friends in your 40s on is a part-time job." As social dynamics change with age, it becomes essential to put in the work to maintain meaningful connections.

Dental Health

Neglecting dental health can lead to significant issues. Redditor Funandgeeky shared, "Deciding to stop going to the dentist because you are no longer forced to by your family won't end well." Regular dental check-ups are crucial for long-term oral health.

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The Benefits of Working Out

Redditor tizod shared the story of their father who started working out in his 40s. "Nothing extreme, just consistent. He is now 87 and is still in great health," they recounted. This simple, consistent effort in maintaining physical health has yielded significant long-term benefits, proving the power of regular exercise.

The Impact of Genetics

Health outcomes can be unpredictable. Redditor iguessimdepressed1 noted, "Some people are made of titanium. Some people aren’t. There’s no way to know which is which." This highlights the importance of taking preventive health measures, regardless of current health status.

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The Importance of Sun Protection

Sun protection is essential to prevent premature aging and skin damage. Redditor milespoints remarked, "The sun. 'OMG you’re 40? Your skin is better than mine at 20, I don’t wear sunscreen' Oh honey. We can tell." Consistent use of sunscreen can make a significant difference.

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The Reality of Aging

Time seems to accelerate as responsibilities increase. Redditor FOTW-Anton reflected, "That life goes by fast, especially after 25." Savoring each moment and making the most of our time becomes increasingly important.

These pieces of advice, grounded in personal experiences, provide a roadmap for those in their 20s to navigate life with foresight and wisdom. From maintaining physical health to managing relationships and finances, these insights highlight the importance of early action in ensuring a fulfilling and healthy life ahead.

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.


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