Texans are below the national average when it comes to how often they exercise, according to a new study by FitRated.
The study found only 68% of people in the state exercised regularly in the last month, which is 5 percentage points lower than the national average. Texas also has just 5.5 gyms per 100,000 people, the third-lowest in the nation. This goes along with a 33% obesity rate.
“Exercise improves mental health, while reducing depression, anxiety and negativity people have. It also helps with improving cognitive functioning,” said Dr. Asim Shah, a professor and executive vice chair of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.
The study also found that Texas lags in other aspects of a healthy lifestyle – the state has 7.8 fast food restaurants per gym, which is the fourth-highest amount in the country.
“The key is redefining what fast food is. I can make rice and beans at my house very fast, very cheaply,” said Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. “Nutrition and exercise are like peanut butter and jelly, they’re OK apart, but much better together.”
Anding also said meat doesn’t have to be your only source of protein, and that a plant-based diet can be good if you’re trying to lose weight, while still gain muscle mass.
The data in this study was collected from the CDC and the US Health Club Database. See the full study here.