While your 20s can be a turbulent time, it can be tempting to neglect your health in the face of so many priorities and distractions. While your body may seem to tolerate a sedentary lifestyle or an unhealthy diet in your youth, this resistance can crumble as you get older.

"The health habits that are cultivated during that time will likely stick with you for the rest of your adult life," says Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, a New York City physician. "It is therefore critical to establish a strong foundation towards achieving great health at this early stage in your life." 

Here are five habits to start in your 20s so your health will thank you later:

1. Cut down on sugar

Some of us may have gotten used to depending on sugar for a quick boost in energy during our teenage years. Now would be the best time to reduce your consumption of sweet sources like sugary breakfast cereal or soda. The American Heart Association outlines tips to cut down on sugar, warning that empty calories can lead to diabetes and obesity.  

Instead, make an effort to drink more water and enjoy servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Here's how you can eat healthy even when you're on a budget.

2. Develop a stable sleep schedule

Disrupted sleep is a frequent consequence of aging. So now is the best time to make a habit of getting enough rest and maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. Fatigue and sleepiness can be harmful as they may affect academic/workplace performance and even cause accidents.

Additionally, sleep deprivation can slowly lead to problems such as inflammation, premature aging, and poor memory. Taking a few easy steps (such as reducing your smartphone use in bed) can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep. 

3. Protect your skin

Even if you've finally recovered from your adolescent acne problems, you need to keep an eye out for invisible factors now. That means regularly washing your face, not going to bed with makeup on, getting enough vitamins, and other healthy steps.

Experts repeatedly recommend sunscreen as a part of your skin routine, not only to protect against signs of aging (thinning, spots etc.) but also skin cancer. It is the most​ commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with numbers rising in recent decades. 

4. Limit alcohol and tobacco

Given the severe health effects of smoking, it's highly recommended you avoid picking up the habit in your 20s. If you already use tobacco, it's still not too late as studies show both short-term and long-term benefits of quitting.

Moderate alcohol consumption is not something to worry about, it's important to make sure it doesn't transition towards a binge-drinking problem. "If you start drinking too much as a matter of routine, it can harm you in terms of long-term health," says Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center.

5. Build bone strength

Your body reaches peak bone mass between the ages of 25 and 30. After this period, it can be very difficult to build bone strength.

"Preventing osteoporosis depends on two things: making the strongest, densest bones possible during the first 30 years of life and limiting the amount of bone loss in adulthood," states the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. To ensure healthy bones past the age of 30, consume adequate quantities of calcium and invest in bone-building exercises.