South Jersey: We’re Not Healthy
Cumberland County has been named the least healthiest county in New Jersey. And all of the other counties in South Jersey aren't that far behind (thank you, Georgia, for posting Cadbury Creme Egg recipes).
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through it's countyhealthrankings.org website has named Cumberland County as the least healthiest county in New Jersey. Here's how all of the counties in South Jersey ranked:
#10 - Burlington
#11 - Ocean
#14 - Gloucester
#15 - Cape May
#17 - Atlantic
#18 - Camden
#20 - Salem
#21 - Cumberland
Before we figure out why Cumberland County -- and all of South Jersey -- is so unhealthy, we should define "healthy." This study combines the number of fast food restaurants in a county, levels of physical inactivity, smoking, drinking, car accidents, violent crime, access to healthy food, the number of parks, and much more to determine who is healthy and who isn't. When all of that data was compiled, much of South Jersey was shown to be unhealthy, compared to our North Jersey friends.
But why? We have countless county and city parks, miles and miles of beaches and boardwalks, and gyms and fitness centers in every town. Is it because we have to pass a bunch of custard stands to get to a park? Or pass a pizza place on every block of a boardwalk to enjoy the beach? Or are we all too busy working and we just don't have the time to go to the gym or plan healthy meals?
Ironically, today has been named National Walking Day by the American Heart Association. With temperatures in the 70s, today is a great day to get outside and walk around your neighborhood for some exercise. As a rule of thumb, you should do at least 150 minutes of "moderate aerobic activity" each week (which sounds like a lot, but it's only about 20 minutes per day)... unless Easter candy is in your future -- then do 151 minutes.