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Healthy U.S. Cities To Consider Living In
Being healthy has become a bit of a phenomenon lately – it seems that everyone is trying to diet, detox, build muscle, or become a healthier person. It’s all good – but it seems that some people really do have it easier when it comes to their weight (and we’re not talking about genetics either). The city you live in may well be playing a role when it comes to how healthy you are now. Accessibility to fresh food, organic food, opportunities for exercise, and a clean environment are just some of the criteria that have been found to make the following cities healthier than others.
Living in the country doesn’t necessarily mean one is going to be healthier than the either. Even though time in nature and living close to green spaces has been linked to reduced stress, rural living has its downfalls as well. Rural residents tend to have higher rates of obesity and higher rates of accidental deaths or suicide. On the other hand, city residents have higher occurrences of asthma, allergies, and depression. The cities below have been identified as healthy for their balance of both green spaces and urban accessibility, meaning that they have all amenities residents need within a reasonable walking radius and have plenty of designated green spaces for residents to enjoy.
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
The laid-back culture and fresh food in Hawaii make this capital city an ideal place for those that are looking to live healthy. The natural beauty of Hawaii invites residents to always be outside and exploring, whether it is in the ocean or taking long hikes to see the many views the island has to offer. Voted “The Best Place for Lifelong Health” in 2017, Honolulu is also a great spot for vegans and vegetarians as the island has many local foods to offer that keep the diet entertaining.
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2. San Francisco, California
The bay area is quite renowned for its love of all things organic and healthy and it is one of the best places for eating healthy in the United States. The weather is always warm and inviting for outdoor activities and it is ranked as the best city for outdoor activities in America. The city is also big on public transportation which helps to cut down on emissions and keeping the air cleaner in the city. Although it is considered a large city, San Francisco is quite small in area size which means that amenities are all easily accessible and invites residents to walk instead of take transportation.
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3. Denver, Colorado
In a survey in 2011, Colorado had 61.9 percent of adults that were participating in moderate to vigorous activity on a daily basis and it’ capital, Denver, is one of the best cities in the state for keeping fit. Not only is it home to many companies that are dedicated to the outdoors and living a healthy lifestyle (a testament to how people feel when living in the city), but it has the lowest percentage of obese residents of all U.S. states. The Rocky Mountains are brimming with outdoor possibilities, so if living in the great outdoors is your thing, Colorado is the place to be.
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4. Portland, Oregon
Portland was one of the first cities in the U.S. to adopt a global-warming policy and is known for their efforts to keep their environment clean. Chock full of green spaces and outdoor opportunities, the city is also known for its ’20-minute neighborhoods’ which means that all amenities are within 20 minute walking distance from residential areas. Lots of local and healthy restaurants round out this city’s well-deserved spot on this list!
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5. Berkeley, California
Rated as one of the top cities in the United States for healthiest places to live, Berkeley has come up again and again, year after year, in the ratings. Almost 85% of the population is active on a regular basis and the obesity rate is at only 20% in the city. The city has great access to doctors and many recreational facilities in the area that residents can take advantage of. The food scene is widely varied as well and every one can find healthy food if they are willing to look for it.
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6. Arlington, Virginia
The relatively large city has a pretty small obesity rate, at 14%, and with the great scenery and many parks in the area it is not that surprising. The area is known for its many historical areas as well and it is encouraging to see an area that is part of the United States’ history setting a healthy example for the rest of the country. The city also has a large number of doctors that helps with any issues that the population might have, which helps to keep the residents healthy too.
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7. Provo, Utah
The large population of Mormons in the area helps to create a culture in this city of lending a hand and helping others, and religious people are believed to be healthier. The city has been rated as one of the best places for spiritual health to live in and it doesn’t lack in physical health amenities either. The great scenery in the area and its closeness to natural beauty helps to keep the obesity rate below 20% in the area. The city was rated as the healthiest city to live in 2014 and has stayed in the top five for the past few years.
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Life choices certainly play a role in how healthy you are in your life but it seems that the city you live in plays just as important as a role. Many of these cities have lots of green spaces for people to enjoy the nature around and most also have a good range of healthy options when it comes to food, whether that includes farmer’s markets, restaurants, or healthy grocery store chains. If you’re considering making a drastic life change and need a new place to live in that will encourage you on that journey, consider making the move to one of these cities that will help you to be healthier.