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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 September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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