Image by: Trodel
By Robert Spencer
I’m not sure where your city falls on the list but I’m proud to say that my hometown made it on top of the list of the fittest cities in America. Men’s Fitness recently did a survey that compared the populations of the major cities in America with their rate of obesity. Portland OR, San Francisco CA, and Seattle WA ranked the top three in the nation while Memphis sat, sedentary, at number 50.
So what can these cities and their habits teach us about how to stay fit in one of the biggest countries in the world? Let’s take a look at the
#1) San Francisco, CA
The sunny California town has the lowest rate of obesity amongst its residents. The city is densely populated which means that more people opt to commute by bike or walk to work. Also, the city is full of hills and has a splendid view, which the residents take full advantage of when they go on walks or bike around during the weekend.
The abundance of vitamin D (from the sun) and the gorgeous view encourages the residents of San Francisco to take up an active lifestyle. Since they are also a coast town, residents are more apt to go canoeing and enjoy the water in other ways.
So what can we learn from San Francisco? Biking and walking to work are excellent ways to commute to your job. They also help you stay active (and save on gas).
#2) Seattle, WA
Seattle is another town filled with fit residents. Unfortunately for these North westerners, the sun isn’t out as often as San Francisco. However, they do have a tendency of having mild winters and the city streets are equally as busy as the California town. Because of this, Seattlites also opt to walk or bike to work.
In addition to the city, just outside of Seattle are the Olympics. The National forests and mountains breed people who enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking, camping, mountain-climbing are great activities that are both enjoyable and help residents maintain an active lifestyle.
Despite its rating on the list, King County (that’s the county that Seattle is in) said that 21% of its residents were obese last year. This is coming from the city that ranked third on the fittest cities in America list – and that’s well below the national average too.
So what can we learn from Seattle? Take advantage of your region’s natural beauty. Enjoy the outdoors if that option is available. Hobbies (like mountain climbing, hiking, and camping) are great for your mind as well as your body. Take up an outdoor hobby. If you are close to water, take up swimming, canoeing, or sailing. If you have the beauty of the woods outside your door, go hiking, camping, and enjoy trail-running.
#3) Denver, CO
Denver is another one of those fantastic outdoor communities. Except, instead of sunny streets along the coast, Denver is well-known for its snow-capped mountains. They are also known as the city with the cleanest air and one of the best mental and health cities in America.
Snow activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snow-shoeing are great activities that are both enjoyable and great for your health. Most areas which allow for those activities have clean mountain air, which is wonderful for your mental and physical health.
In addition to those activities, Denver is also well-known for its Crossfit communities. What is Crossfit? According to the official website, Crossfit is a “broad and inclusive strength and conditioning program”. It is known for pushing its participants as far as they can. The coolest thing about Crossfit (besides your amazement and what you can actually do) is the camaraderie that it generates between members.
So what can we learn from Denver? Not only should we enjoy the great outdoors (I see a pattern here, don’t you?), but joining a community of people who are equally as motivated to being healthy as you will help keep both your mind and your body as healthy as possible.
Another city that chooses to promote active lifestyles in gyms and clubs? Washington D.C. In addition to that, a large portion of the city limits are dedicated to parks, which encourages outdoor activities.
#4) Boston, MA
The home of the Boston Marathon is one of the healthiest communities in America. That’s not really all that surprising, is it?
Sure, it’s also known for great pizza but did you know that just beyond the city limits is a ton of farm country? That has generated quite the love for locally grown food.
What have these cities taught us about staying healthy?
- 1. Walking or biking to work is a great option.
2. Enjoying the great outdoors in your region, whether it is the sun, the snow, or the dense forests of a national park is a fun way to keep up an active lifestyle.
3. Eating from locally farmed foods is a great way to help your local farmer in addition to encouraging a cleaner and healthier diet.
4. The camaraderie of a gym (like Crossfit) is a great way to get motivation to stay healthy.