At no time is our national obsession with fitness greater than during the weeks preceding an Olympic Games. Fanatics all over the country don their track suits and bathing caps and start to sweat. Vermont is no stranger to the craze. You might even say fitness and Vermont go together like apples and cheddar.
In Addison County alone, you’ll find all you need to stay fit: yoga, zumba, tennis, health clubs, fitness boot camps, health food, bike tours, hiking trails, skiing, snowshoeing and swimming. To this list you can add the seasonal fitness activities associated with homeownership i.e. weeding the garden, shoveling snow, and mowing.
This is good news in the wake of a recent study showing that a lack of exercise is now causing as many deaths as smoking across the world:
The report, published in the Lancet to coincide with the build-up to the Olympics, estimates that about a third of adults are not doing enough physical activity, causing 5.3m deaths a year.
That equates to about one in 10 deaths from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and breast and colon cancer.
Researchers said the problem was now so bad it should be treated as a pandemic.
And they said tackling it required a new way of thinking, suggesting the public needed to be warned about the dangers of inactivity rather than just reminded of the benefits of being active. (www.bbc.co.uk – 17 July 2012)
I thought it would be interesting to see how Addison County stacked up. Here are some stats, generated somewhat unscientifically at the Google Center for Information and Research (here at my desk):
|Life Satisfaction/Health Indicator||National Average||Addison County Average|
|Life Expectancy||78.7 years||79.7 years|
|People w/ high blood pressure||33%||24.8%|
|People w/ Bachelors Degrees||30%||32.6%|
It is encouraging to see that there is no direct correlation between high blood pressure and graduate degrees. I was also pleased to see that homeownership is an important factor in the index. Homeowners are generally happier and healthier because they enjoy a greater feeling of control of their lives.
It is only logical to surmise, given the above data, that being a fit home owner will provide the best opportunity for health and happiness. Theses properties will make it possible:
image credit: bestfamilybenefits.com