ADA, Mich., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Americans want to improve their wellness, but are finding it difficult to keep up with regular exercise. The Amway Global Wellness Index, a new study of more than 15,000 Americans, shows that nearly one in five (18 percent) claim to never participate in a group activity, such as walking or biking with family or friends. And 23 percent — about 52 million Americans — are not exercising for at least 30 minutes or more at a time on a regular basis.

The survey also found that while many Americans are satisifed with their communities' wellness offerings — which include access to such things as aerobics and spin classes, trainers and nutritionists — there's definitely room for improvement, as fewer than half of Americans are highly satisfied. Interestingly, the more Americans claim to exercise, the higher they rate their community's physical activity options, which include parks, walking paths, organized sports, gyms and more. For instance, 40 percent who exercise on a daily basis rate their community offerings as "very good," versus just 28 percent of those who do not exercise at least three times per week.

Nominate a Teen Wellness Leader

Many Americans are seeking better wellness options in their communities, so Amway Global and YMCA of the USA want to reward teens who are making a difference on this front, from setting up after-school walking groups and fitness activities to advocacy for healthier food options in their schools. A Teen Wellness Leader from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia will be selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship for further education plus a $1,000 donation toward his or her local YMCA. From Oct. 1 (8 a.m. EST) through Nov. 16, 2008 (10 a.m. EST), anyone can nominate a teen who is making a difference in their community. Go to http://www.inspirewellness.com to nominate a teen and for further details and official rules.

Wellness Tips

One barrier that prevents many Americans from living a healthier lifestyle is lack of time. The following tips and more are found at http://www.inspirewellness.com to help individuals easily plan their wellness routines and track progress.

— For easy and effective stress relief, stop and take deep breaths for just five minutes a day. Use this time to focus on breathing or visualizing positive imagery.

— Exercise in 15 minute blocks if your schedule is too busy to fit in a longer workout.

— Get your heart rate up with family and friends. Working out with others holds you accountable to your goals.

— Plan your indulgences. If you're going to your favorite restaurant over the weekend, make healthy eating decisions during the week, and then reward yourself with your favorite dessert.

— Develop and maintain a consistent bedtime schedule — go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. You will eventually fall asleep faster.

Wellness by Region

Where people live in the U.S. may have an impact on their views about wellness. The Amway Global Wellness Index revealed some interesting variances in the American wellness experience from region to region.

Northeast Region

Twenty percent of people in the Northeast are not satisfied with their community's current wellness offerings overall, versus just 16 percent of those dissatisfied in both the Midwest and West. Northeasterners also are slightly more stressed out than other Americans, with 42 percent citing "very" or "somewhat" high stress levels, versus 40 percent nationally. They're also more likely to cite a lack of time (42 percent, versus 39 percent nationally) as a primary barrier to living a healthier lifestyle. More than half of Americans in the Northeast (51 percent, versus 47 percent of Southerners) talk to family and friends as the most effective way of coping with stress.

West Region

Those in the West do not turn to doctors as much for wellness advice and information (34 percent, versus 41 percent of Americans overall) and claim to be better at making everyday choices to be healthy than Americans nationwide (50 percent, versus 46 percent, respectively). They also rate the quality of physical activities offered in their community higher than those in other regions. About 44 percent in the West region are "very" or "extremely" satisfied with the current wellness offerings in their community, versus just 37 percent in the Northeast.

Midwest Region

Fewer in the Midwest region claim to be good at making everyday choices to be healthy and live well (43 percent, versus 46 percent nationwide). And, half of Midwesterners consider themselves obese or overweight, versus just 45 percent nationally.

South Region

Fifty percent of Southerners claim to struggle at making everyday choices to be healthy and live well, versus 47 percent nationally. One in four Americans (25 percent) in the South do not exercise at least 30 minutes or more at a time on a regular basis (versus 23 percent nationally and 19 percent in the West). Furthermore, one in five Southerners (20 percent) never participates in a physical activity with family or friends, such as walking, biking or playing a sport.

About the Amway Global Wellness Index

The Amway Global Wellness Index is a national survey of 15,035 American adults ages 18 and older which uncovers American views toward the concept of health and wellness as well as and individual, family and community wellness. Commissioned by Amway Global, the study has an estimated margin of error of +/-0.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. For more information and state-specific statistics, go to http://www.inspirewellness.com.

About Amway Global

Amway Global offers the opportunity for people to have a business of their own based on retailing products and sharing the opportunity with others who will do the same. Amway Global supports Independent Business Owners (IBOs) with a proven compensation plan, portfolios of quality products in health, beauty and other consumer categories, plus the merchandising materials, training and education they need to be successful. IBOs also are supported by communities of those who have already built successful businesses.

Amway Global has been ranked the No. 1 online health and beauty retailer based on sales, and 26th among all e-commerce sites, according to Internet Retailer magazine, based on 2007 sales. Based in Ada, Mich., Amway Global is the North American affiliate of Amway Corp., a worldwide leader in direct selling, with more than three million IBOs in more than 80 countries and territories around the world. The Amway business opportunity operated as Quixtar Inc. in North America from 1999 until 2008. As Amway transforms its North American business with exceptional new products, expanded support, and enhanced compensation, the company is leveraging its ties to the nearly $7 billion international Amway business and transitioning to the Amway Global brand in North America.

SOURCE Amway Global

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