Making sure you drank your milk every night or that you were in bed by 9:00 P.M. used to be your parents’ responsibility, but now that you’re in your 20s, you don't expect them to dote on you as they did when you were still young. After all, if you’re old enough to earn your own money, then you’re certainly old enough to take care of your health. Of course, some medical obligations, such as going to the dentist twice a year, are easy enough to remember (especially if your parents have been taking you to one for years), but there are a few new things you might have to list down.

Scroll down for a few new habits you need to develop in your 20s, 30s, and 40s.

In your 20s

1. Start taking your multivitamins.

Working late again? While most career women in their 20s tend to burn the midnight oil (just as you used to do back when you were in college), that doesn’t mean your body isn’t suffering for it. If you can’t take a break, at the very least, start taking multivitamins. According to the June 2012 issue of Women’s Health Philippines, women your age would benefit from B-complex vitamins, especially B-6 that helps boost energy, immunity, and mood.

2. Go get a Pap smear.

Once you reach the age of 21, schedule a Pap smear appointment with your gynecologist. Think of it as a birthday gift to your future cervical-cancer free self. Not sexually active? CNN reports that women who are 21 years old and above should get a Pap smear regardless of whether they have had sex or not. Do this every two years.

In your 30s

1. Get a skin check.

Now that you’re in your 30s, your skin has probably been exposed to its fair share of sunlight. Add those annual beach trips you kept taking when you were in your 20s, and you could be at risk for Melanoma, which is said to be only second to breast cancer. According to Real Simple, your 30s is when you should start getting an annual skin check (twice if your family has a history of skin cancer or if you have many moles).

2. Pay attention to your digestive system.

Before your digestive system slows down and starts giving you problems, make sure you pack on probiotics and fiber. According to the June 2012 issue of Women’s Health Philippines, it may help you stave off gas, bloating, and even skin problems brought by a malfunctioning digestive track.

In your 40s

1. Do strength training regularly.

At your age, your muscle mass can drop by as much as 10 percent, says Prevention.com. During this time, you need to push yourself to exercise and attend strength training sessions (no more lazing about) or risk the buildup of fat that may then lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and eventually, heart disease.

2. Consider getting a mammogram.

According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors normally screen women at age 40 because that's when they can detect any breast abnormalities you may have. However, it’s not something that you should automatically sign up for, as mammograms do have a tendency to emit low levels of radiation. They may also result in false-positives, which may only stress you out unnecessarily. Talk to your doctor about it before signing up for a test.

(Photo by bradleypjohnson via Flickr Creative Commons)

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