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The Fittest State in America?

Earlier this year, Seattle topped the list of America's fittest cities, based on a popular survey released annually by Men's Fitness. About halfway down the "fittest list" is Portland, Ore., which may really be the epicenter of one the healthier states to live in, according to a report by the Trust for America's Health (free report link below).

Colorado may be the "leanest" state in the report (16.4 percent), but Oregon held the unique distinction of being the only state whose percentage of obese residents stayed the same (21 percent). Nevertheless, the report was criticized by the state epidemiologist who estimated the percentage of obese adults at nearly three times that number (59 percent).

What was more interesting about the news report than the numbers, however, were some of the reasons Oregonians kept obesity at bay. For example, the state's urban design plan encourages residents to ride their bikes to work. In fact, some employers offer monthly financial incentives to workers if they ride their bikes to work at least 80 percent of the time.

Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the state increased by a surprising 50 percent, meaning Oregonians likely had better access to fresh fruits and vegetables which promotes healthier eating.

The trick is to promote better health habits as a natural daily outcome, and living in a town like Portland could certainly help. But you don't have to live there to optimize your health, especially if you take advantage of the free resources available on my Web site.

Some areas you'll want to explore as you learn better health habits:

MSNBC August 24, 2005

Trust for America's Health Free Full Text Report

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