Have you ever considered what it would be like to live where other people go on vacation? What would it be like to be a resident on the island of your dreams? With miles of coastline, warm waters to swim in, mountains to hike and historic sites to explore, it is easy to understand why the breathtaking Hawaiian Islands are a healthy place to live. The scenic surroundings alone would inspire even the most sedentary of people to take a stroll in the glorious outdoors and living in paradise would seem to chase the blues away. Here are reasons why the 25th edition of America’s Health Rankings have found Hawaii to be healthiest state in America.
Most residents of Hawaii don’t smoke: A study conducted in 2015 showed that only 17% of those living in Hawaii are active smokers. While is only marginally lower than the percentage of people who smoke in all of America at nearly 18%, in the last two years alone, there has been over a 21% decrease of smoking, which could be a major reason why Hawaii also has the lowest number of cancer-related deaths in the country.
Low prevalence of obesity: Possibly because the weather is temperate nearly all year, the majority of Hawaiian are less likely to be obese. Hawaii’s obesity rate, considering anyone with a body mass index of 30% or higher, is around 22%, while the rest of US averages around 30% of the population.
Low levels of depression: Interestingly, obesity has been heavily linked to depression. Since there is lower percentage of obese residents in Hawaii, it’s not surprising that depression levels are also lower in Hawaii compared to other states. Only 5.9% of the population reports that they have been clinically diagnosed with depression or are receiving treatments for the illness currently.
High amounts of physical activity: Most people are drawn to the active lifestyle that the residents of Hawaii enjoy. Only a relative small 19% of people claim to have no physical activity outside of their work. Whereas in other states like Mississippi, over 30% of people do not pursue exercise in their daily life.
Beyond these scientific reasons why Hawaii has been deemed as the healthiest state every year since 2012, the islands can provide the setting for an entirely holistic healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the reasons why Hawaii residents not only are healthier, but also why they could also feel that way.
Great venues for exercise: There is no limit to the hiking trails in Hawaii. From stair-step roads to trails off the beaten path, there are alluring rainforest walks that may take you to thundering waterfalls, dizzying canyons, state parks, mountain ranges and more. Not only do these regular nature walks strengthen the human body, they also offer peaceful vistas which encourage mental stability and open perspectives.
The tranquility of the Pacific Ocean: It is difficult to find a person who does not like gazing out across the ocean from a high outlook or on one of Hawaii’s colorful beaches. Studies prove that looking at landscapes or seascapes greatly reduce stress and that regularly spending time by the ocean has a positive effect on the human brain. Not only that, but simply being in the ocean can produce benefits. For example, salt water though not hydrating, when ingested in small amounts, can stabilize blood pressure and reduce appetite. Smelling salt water, a therapy called thalassotherapy, alleviates viral infections, bronchitis, sinus pain and congestion. Swimming in the ocean is cleansing to blemishes and is also an excellent cardio workout that helps strengthen and sooth weak joints. For many reasons, living near the ocean helps humans thrive.
The aloha spirit: The aloha spirit in Hawaii is based on welcoming strangers, showing hospitality, love and friendliness to others. Because there is such a diverse population, made of a melting pot of cultures, for the most part, there is an agreeable and tolerant vibe on the islands. This coupled with the more gentle pace of living in many parts of Hawaii tend to make residents of the Hawaiian Islands physically, mentally and emotionally healthier people than those in other American states.
Ready to relax and soak in some of the beauty Hawaii has to offer? Our representatives would love to help you plan your dream vacation to the stunning Aloha State.