“No way this can be true,” is what I thought when I first heard about this article yesterday on the radio. It is from the Huffington Post. How can this be true? Florida has good beaches, perfect weather and is laid back.
Here is a link to the original article, which states how the rankings were chosen. Basically they used these criteria:
- Percentage of population with a long commute (over 20 minutes)
- Hours worked
- Population density
- Percentage of income spent on housing
- Percentage of population without health insurance
It turns out Floridians are the most stressed because of health insurance (25.8 percent) and unemployment (11.3 percent). It is worth noting my home state of Michigan was ranked 1st for unemployment rate.
In addition to Florida here are the other top 9 stressed states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
Here’s what you can do if you live in Florida, one of the top 10 or feel stressed yourself:
- 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. These can be broken up into smaller sessions obviously. The specific exercise is not necessary as long as the right intensity levels are reached (3).
- According to Canadian guidelines, during moderate exercise your pulse should rise to about 64 percent to 76 percent of your maximum heart rate. During vigorous exercise, your pulse should be between about 77 percent and 90 percent of your maximum.
- According to American guidelines, during moderate exercise, you should be able to “talk, but not sing,” and while during vigorous activity, “you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath” (3).
- Many people tend to overestimate the intensity of exercise. Read this.
- Meditation helps lower blood pressure, support your immune system, helps with GI problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, lowers inflammation, controls chronic pain and helps clear your mind (5-7).
- Yoga is also very good at dealing with stress, clearing the mind, while increasing flexibility.
- Find a way to de-stress
- Enjoy a hobby or learn a new hobby
- Listen to music
- I like to hit golf balls, you could also exercise, read or do something you enjoy
- Take a small vacation
- Get enough sleep. Find out how much sleep your body needs. Most people need around 6-8 hours. Getting too much sleep can also stress you out too, so find a happy medium.
- Appreciate the small things. Don’t let the things you cannot control add to the stress of your life.
- Vitamin D
- It is known that stress and cortisol can deplete vitamin D (2).
- In the summer this is easy. Being outside between 10 am and 2 pm is the best time to get vitamin D. For most people only 15-20 minutes (darker pigment skin needs more time) is needed without sunscreen for your body to synthesize the vitamin D you need. Sunscreen blocks the UVB rays, which your body uses to synthesize vitamin D.
- In the winter, almost everybody is deficient in vitamin D, even in Florida (1).
- Vitamin D
- Get your vitamin D levels checked. The most accurate blood test is the 25(OH) dehydroxyvitamin D test. Many people believe that the recommended range of 20-30 nanograms is too low. The vitamin D council and Dr. Mercola believe around 50-70 nanograms is optimal (3).
- The recommended daily recommended dosage is 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight as opposed to the RDA intake levels, which are very low (8). Most adults require around 8,000 IU’s per day.
- Support your adrenals
- According to Dr. Mercola, “It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the United States” (4).
- Ask your Doctor about Ragland’s test for orthostatic hypotension, a test for adrenal fatigue.
- Adrenal supports contain Adrenal glandulars, Vitamin C, B vitamins (especially B5 Pantothenic acid), Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Chromium and licorice (Contact me or your Doctor for the exact dosage of each).
- Boost your immune system
- Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to enhance the immune system. Look at a nice summary of the research here.
- Immune Boosting Protocol (Contact me for the protocol).
Note- Consult with your Doctor before starting any exercise program or nutritional supplement stated in this blog.