As much as the area can grate on my nerves by being way too overpopulated, I often remind myself to be grateful my fiancé and I live in greater NYC, if only because we have access to leading medical experts, good, nearby gyms, and healthy, organic groceries and restaurants. We don't think about it much, but living in a community with certain resources to support wellness can really help us lead healthier lives.
America's Health Rankings must agree, because they've ranked the top healthiest states of 2012. Here, the top 10 and the real reasons they must have made the cut ...
10. Rhode Island - This seaside state may be dinky, but it has a spirit all its own. I wouldn't be surprised if New Englanders up there stay healthy by living in equally tiny, but hilly and walkable cities or towns (like Providence), sailing, and/or feeling compelled to wear unforgivingly fitted polo shirts.
9. Maine - Easy. If you lived on lobster and blueberries, you'd be super-healthy too! Mmmm.
8. New Jersey - Clearly this has to do with the state's weekly GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) requirement, inspired by the uber-fit cast of Jersey Shore.
7. Utah - Abstaining from booze and caffeine must do a body good.
6. Connecticut - Slackers these Northeastern folks are not -- at least when it comes to hiring personal trainers or going for a game of squash! Hey, there's a lot of pressure to look hot at the country club.
5. Minnesota - This one's a wonder to me, because you'd assume anyone stuck up in that frigid ice tundra would be going to town on Swedish meatballs and hiding in sweaters. But I hear that during their five-minute summer, there are a lot of gorgeous nature preserves and parks where you can get your fitness on.
4. Massachusetts - One word for ya: RomneyCare.
3. New Hampshire - Apparently hiking -- and not having to pay sales tax -- makes it easier to live free!
2. Hawaii - Getting out and enjoying all the gorgeous land and sea activities the Aloha State has to offer must make up for their penchant for SPAM.
1. Vermont - See, nothing wrong with being the crunchiest, hippie-dippiest Americans around! (Also goes to show a little Ben & Jerry's never hurt anyone.)
Where does your state fall on the list, and why do you think it made that ranking?
Image via Brian Cribb/Flickr