Health. Are you healthy? Is your state healthy? Is our nation healthy? Health is at the forefront of our thoughts. We want to stay young, fit and healthy. But while the media and the general populace agree that health is important, many of us don’t actually take action to working toward greater health.
The 2007 America’s Health Ranking report is in. And now the question is, where is your state in the ranking? Is your state the healthiest in the nation? Or the worst in the nation?
According to the United Health Foundation, the top five healthiest states in the United States from the 2007 America’s Health Ranking are as follows:
The 2007 America’s Health Ranking report also states that the overall health of our nation has fallen since the last time this survey was carried out in 2006. The effects of obesity, including child obesity, poverty and expensive health insurance (or a total lack of health insurance) has taken its toll on the overall barometer of our nation’s health status.
According to the United Health Foundation, the bottom five healthiest states in the United States from the 2007 America’s Health Ranking are as follows:
The 2007 America’s Health Ranking analyzes every aspect of health in the United States, including occupational fatalities, quality of health coverage, etc. Whether or not your state is in the top five or the bottom five of the United States’ healthiest states, you can still take your own measures to increase your own personal health.
Here are five easy ways to increase your health:
1. Eat well. Diet is the foundation of good health. Remember when your mom told you to eat your vegetables? You should listen to her. Most Americans do not eat enough vegetables. When choosing your veggies, pick dark, leafy greens like spinach (no iceberg lettuce!) and bright veggies like bell peppers. You will also want to avoid foods rich in fat (especially saturated fat), partially-hydrogenated oils, and cholesterol. Interestingly enough, cholesterol is only found in food derived from animal products. Thus, it comes as no surprise that many health experts and organizations strongly support a vegetarian diet because of its aptitude to being low in fat and cholesterol and high in naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals.
2. Exercise regularly. Simply taking ten minutes a day to vigorously participate in aerobic exercise like running or walking can be a great way to bond with friends and family while exercising your heart. Studies have shown that even short but regular bouts of rigorous exercise is beneficial to your overall health. Whether its walking around a park, cycling with your children or jogging with your friends, exercise can be fun and healthy.
3. Join a community. Connecting with other human beings, whether its through church, a community club or with friends, being part of a community has great benefits in terms of giving your life meaning and support. It has been shown in studies that people who take part in regular social activities are happier, and this happiness translates itself into mental health (just as important as physical health!).
Summary: Eat well, exercise regularly, and have fun. It’s not that hard, and the positive benefits are many!
Being healthy encompasses both the physical and mental and requires you to take certain steps. It’s a journey, but it’s a journey that we should all start. Its never too late to start living a healthier, active lifestyle. Start eating well and exercising today, and together we can work toward a healthier community.