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The Healthiest States in the USA

The Healthiest States in the USA

Which US states eat healthy and exercise regularly? We’re about to find out in this infographic detailing the healthiest and least healthy states based on data provided by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. How healthy is your state? It’s time to find out!

healthiest states in USA

    This Healthiest States in the USA Infographic was created by Life Health HQ, with data from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

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    The infographic examines two major factors to determine state health – exercise and healthy eating.

    Which States Exercised The Most?

    In a 2013 study by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, researchers surveyed adults to see how many individuals reported regular exercise. For this study, regular exercise was defined as exercising 3 or more days each week for at least 30 minutes.

    The states reporting the most exercise were:

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    • Vermont (65.3%)
    • Hawaii (62.2%)
    • Montana (60.1%)
    • Alaska (60.1%)

    The states that reported the most levels of exercise were also states known for their selection of outdoor activities and outdoor lifestyle, which may have helped contribute to the higher levels of physical activity.

    US states reporting the lowest levels of exercise (exercising less than 3 or more days per week for at least 30 minutes) were:

    • Delaware (46.5%)
    • West Virginia (47.1%)
    • Alabama (47.5%)

    The national average for regular exercise was found to be 51.6%

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    Healthy Eating Data: Which States Eat the Healthiest?

    In the same study, state residents were asked to report on their healthy eating habits. In this study, healthy eating habits were defined as eating 5 or more servings of vegetables on 4 or more days each week.

    The US states that reported the healthiest eating habits were:

    • Vermont (68.7%)
    • Montana (63.0%)
    • Washington (61.8%)

    The states reporting the lowest amount of healthy eating were:

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    • Oklahoma (52.3%)
    • Louisiana (53.3%)
    • Missouri (53.8%).

    The national average for healthy eating is 57.7%.

    More Health and Fitness Data

    Other interesting research discovered in this healthiest states in the USA study:

    • Only 1 in 3 children are physically active each day.
    • Only 1 in 3 adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
    • Over 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
    • More than 23 million Americans live in food deserts – areas that are over a mile away from a supermarket, leaving residents to shop at connivence stores with poorer food choices and few (if any) options for fruits and vegetables.
    • Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants has more than doubled.
    • 40% of total daily calories for 2-18 year olds come from added sugars and solid fats.
    • 50% of those empty calories come from six sources: soda drinks, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk.
    • About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.
    • Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1,200 mg per day could save up to $20 billion a year in medical costs.
    • Projections suggest that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the US will be obese.
    • Food safety awareness goes hand-in-hand with nutrition education. In the United States, food-borne agents affect 1 out of 6 individuals and cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year.
    • US per capita consumption of total fat increased from approximately 57 pounds in 1980 to 78 pounds in 2009 with the highest consumption being 85 pounds in 2005.
    • The US percentage of food-insecure households, which are defined as household with limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways, rose from 11% to 15% between 2005 and 2009.

    Were you surprised to see which US states were the healthiest? Do you live in one of the healthiest states in the USA? What about the least healthy states – were your surprised to see which states have the worst eating habits and the lowest levels of exercise?

    Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below!

    Featured photo credit: Life Health HQ via lifehealthhq.com

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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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