The states that exercise the most (& the least) in America

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Hanna Horvath, CFP®Managing Editor & Certified Financial Planner™Hanna Horvath, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and former managing editor at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in NBC News, Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, CNBC, Best Company, and HerMoney.

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Exercising is something that regularly gets left off the to-do list. Why make time to sweat in the gym when you are sweating on the subway to and from work?

The short answer: Exercise is good for your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “muscle-strengthening” exercises at least twice a week, and 150 minutes of weekly “aerobic physical activity.” But only about 23% of the country reaches these guidelines. The numbers ranged widely state-to-state, however, from 13.5% in Missouri to 32.5% in Colorado.

Curious about how much your state exercises? Check out the most active and least active states, as reported by the CDC.

The states that exercise the most:

  1. Colorado: 32.5%

  2. Idaho: 31.4%

  3. Washington, D.C.: 30.7% (tie)

  4. New Hampshire: 30.7% (tie)

  5. Massachusetts: 29.5% (tie)

  6. Vermont: 29.5% (tie)

  7. Washington: 28.9%

  8. Utah: 28.2%

  9. Alaska 27.9%

  10. Minnesota: 27.7%

The states that exercise the least:

  1. Mississippi: 13.5%

  2. Kentucky: 14.6%

  3. South Carolina: 14.8%

  4. Indiana: 15.1%

  5. Arkansas: 15.7%

  6. West Virginia: 16.8%

  7. Tennessee: 17.1%

  8. South Dakota: 17.2%

  9. New York: 18.9%

  10. Oklahoma: 19%

Source: Center for Disease Control’s 2018 National Health Statistics Report

How exercise affects life insurance rates

Exercising can be beneficial in more ways than you think. Besides giving you the physique you’ve been looking for, it can also combat medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity — all things, incidentally, than can lead to higher life insurance rates.

Weird caveat: If you have too much muscle, your increased BMI could lead to higher rates as well.

Keep in mind that fitness and athleticism are just one of the many variables life insurances companies take into account when pricing your policy. It doesn’t matter if you run a 6-minute or 20-minute mile: If you are a reckless driver or have a family history of disease, your rates may be higher. Some insurance companies ‘reward’ you for good health, but not all do. (We can help you easily compare and buy life insurance across companies to find the best fit for your health profile.)

Not ready to shop? Our life insurance calculator can help you get a good estimate of how much coverage you need.

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