Utah, especially Provo-Orem, has some of the healthiest seniors in the nation. Seniors are growing old healthy and continue to maintain active lifestyles. But what exactly makes the elevated life so conducive to senior living?
Outdoor Culture and Active Lifestyle
Utahns are one of the fittest Americans because of their active lifestyle and love of the outdoors. Thirty-three percent of Americans are obese — not just overweight. However, only 25 percent of Utahns are obese and only 13 percent among those of 18-26 years of age. Weight-loss clinics have become quite popular for people who want to fit in with the rest of the population. This has reduced the incidence of diabetes and obesity to very low levels compared to the rest of the nation, as well as illnesses and conditions associated with the two. Keeping your weight down in you’re younger years also reduces the chronic stress additional weight puts on your knees. This allows you to retain much of your mobility throughout your adult and senior life.
Very few Utahns smoke or drink. The state’s slogan of “Life Elevated” seems particularly apt, especially when it comes to Utahns and their lack of vices. Smoking can lead to a host of problems. It accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths and also puts smokers at higher risk of acquiring vascular diseases that can lead to heart attack and strokes. More smokers will die from conditions brought about by cigarette toxins inflaming and hardening the arteries — like bronchitis — than from cancer. Aside from not smoking and drinking, the majority of Utahns also frown upon the use of mind-altering medication or drugs to the point that they even drink coffee. Fewer chemicals or medicines in your system keeps your kidneys and liver healthy.
Happy and Peaceful Lives
Happy people tend to live longer, and Utah tops that statistic together with Hawaii. Researchers have found that happy people had a 55 percent less chance of dying compared to those who were unhappy, and Utah residents are happy. Faith is a crucial factor in the happiness of the majority of Utah residents. Believing in a higher power or the greater good — gives your life a sense of purpose and a deeper meaning. Interactions within the church also strengthen the bonds of the community. The family also plays a crucial role in Utahn’s happiness as the Utahn family has one of the strongest familial relationships in the nation. Utahns marry earlier in life and tend to have more children. Utah is one of the only two states (the other one being South Dakota) to have fertility rates above replacement levels. The Utahn conservative nature with regards to sex has also allowed marriages to become stronger, making divorces more of a rarity.
A healthy and happy lifestyle during your younger years will make your senior years a whole lot better. You don’t have to live in Utah to emulate their lifestyle; stay active, cut down on smokes and drinks, and try to find something (or someone) that will make you happy.
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