Lonely Planet Writer

Hawaii has been ranked as the healthiest state in the US for the fifth year in a row

If you’re planning to visit Hawaii, you’ll be glad to learn that it has been ranked as the healthiest state in the US in 2016 for the fifth year in the row.

Snorkeling in the blue ocean in Hawaii. Image: idreamphoto/Shutterstock
Snorkelling in the blue ocean in Hawaii. Image: idreamphoto/Shutterstock

United Health Foundation’s 27th America’s Health Rankings Annual placed Hawaii in first position, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota and Vermont. The annual report examines each state on 34 measures of behaviour, community and environment, and policies and clinical care data to provide a holistic view of the nation’s health.

A juvenile green sea turtle underwater near Oahu, Hawaii. Image: Eric Esterle
A juvenile green sea turtle underwater near Oahu, Hawaii. Image: Eric Esterle

Hawaii is the only US. state located in Oceania and also the only one composed entirely of islands. It’s unsurprising that it’s the healthiest state, as life there is predominantly lived outdoors. Whether it’s surfing, swimming, fishing or picnicking with extended family and friends, encounters with nature are infused with the traditional Hawaiian value of aloha ʻaina – love and respect for the land.

Hikers on the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Image: Alexander Howard/Lonely Planet
Hikers on the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Image: Alexander Howard/Lonely Planet

While in Hawaii, you can hike across ancient lava flows and sea cliffs, enjoy the ancient Hawaiian sport of ‘wave sliding,’ and snorkel or dive with giant manta rays and sea turtles. Breathe in the fresh air as you kayak to a deserted offshore island or hop aboard a winter whale-watching cruise.

Hawaii has been ranked the healthiest state in the US. Image: Matt Munro/Lonely Planet
Couple at a roadside tropical fruit stand in Hawaii. Image: Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

Back on land, you can ride horseback with paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys). You can also enjoy the fresh fruit, vegetables and fish that are staple of the islands to give your holiday that extra healthy factor.