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New Study Finds Fewer Than 3% Of Americans Meet "Healthy Lifestyle" Criteria

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Even if you hit the gym, you may not be considered healthy, that's according to a new study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Researchers used a four-part system to determine long-term well-being: diet, exercise, body mass index and smoking.

You have to be successful in all four categories to be considered healthy. A mere 2.7 percent of Americans passed with flying colors.

"It's interesting. I thought there would be a lot more that would fall into that category," Stacy Chmielewski, of Ross Township, said.

Chmielewski comes to the gym six days a week. She also eats clean and doesn't smoke.

Mike Daley also says he tries to live as healthy as possible.

"I don't smoke. I read online it inhibits muscle growth. Tobacco and nicotine keep muscles from growing. I read that and it scared me," Daley, of the North Hills, said.

Researchers were pretty liberal in the activity requirements of this study, suggesting that you should work out for 150 minutes a week, which breaks down to about 22 minutes a day.

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Some people don't have time to work out with a busy schedule. They are juggling kids, a job, and more.

"It's difficult, but I get up at 5:30 in the morning to work out. So you just have to make the time," Ross Caggiano, of Wexford, said.

"I try, and I fail miserably," Craig Sheperd, of Ross Township, says.

He blames good food.

"My wife is an excellent cook. She bakes. It's hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you have great things to eat in front of you," Sheperd said.

"I eat a lot of fruit, and eat often and not one big meal. Snacking through the day is important," Christa Brumberg, of Ross Township, said.

If you are serious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, experts suggest staying away from tobacco products. They also suggest you drink alcohol and sugary drinks in moderation. Plus, eat a balanced diet that includes all four food groups.

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