Exercise has been shown to be a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy weight as it helps lose body fat and build muscle tissue. Physical activity is also linked to better quality of life. Some research shows that even just 15 minutes of exercise a day provides benefits including lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some common types of cancer. And you don’t have to join a gym to get those benefits. Here are, for instance, 30 reasons why walking is the best exercise.
Exercise trends vary considerably across the country, from state to sktate as well as from city to city. Using data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program, 24/7 Tempo identified the least physically active metropolitan area in each state.
Metro areas are ranked by the share of adults 20 or older who never exercise in their leisure time. Four states – Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have only one metro area each, so those areas are ranked as least active in their state by default only. (Nationwide instead of state by state, these are the 50 U.S. cities getting the least exercise.)
About a quarter of Americans report that they do not get any physical activity at all in their leisure time, according to the County Health Rankings. And while there’s no absolute correlation between frequency of physical activity and obesity, diabetes, and other conditions, in general the places whose population gets out and moves around are healthier. For instance, Mississippi – the state where residents report the lowest levels of physical activity – also has the highest obesity rate. And Colorado, with the second lowest level of physical inactivity in the U.S., has the lowest obesity rate in the country.
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