When figuring out if a city is healthy or not, you can either look at the opportunities it offers — health care, affordability, quantity of gyms — or you can look at how the city promotes a healthy overall lifestyle. Think farmers markets, free yoga in the park and bike rentals. A poll by Livability, examined both factors to compile a list of the top 10 healthiest cities in the US. They took into account quality and affordability of health care, obesity rates, number of hospitals and the ratio of doctors to residents. Then they looked at how people actually lived in the city and checked out features like walking trails, access to parks and environmental factors like clean air and water. Ready to see if your hometown made it into the top 10?
10. Yonkers, NY: Residents of Yonkers work out regularly and don’t smoke or drink too much. The city has a wide variety of parks and walking trails that encourage residents to get moving. Approximately 98% of the population has access to exercise spots like yoga studios, gyms and golf courses.
9. Fort Collins, CO: Perfect for the outdoor lover, Fort Collins offers the best of every type of recreational activity, not to mention five farmers markets during the summer.
8. Honolulu, HI: Seems like it would be hard not to be in shape if you lived somewhere as beautiful as Hawaii. When you live in Honolulu, you can do everything from walking on the beach to hiking in the tropical forest to snorkeling. The city manages more than 65 regional parks for residents to enjoy.
7. Santa Ana, CA: With a high ratio of health providers, Santa Ana’s average resident takes just three sick days a year. We suspect all the vitamin D has something to do with all the good energy in this town.
6. Arlington, VA: Filled with parks, healthy restaurant options and a hefty number of carpoolers, Arlington is on the map for being both a healthy and environmentally friendly city. Picnic, anybody?
5. Bridgeport, CT: Boasting one of the lowest obesity rates in the country, Bridgeport residents enjoy fresh fish, farmers markets and locally grown food. This town boasts all the ideal opportunities for creating a healthy dining experience.
4. Miami, FL: Maybe it’s the beach or maybe it’s the nearby Everglades park; either way, Miami offers so much opportunity for physical activity (and a good tan) that the locals don’t even need a gym to keep that beach bod.
3. Madison, WI: Not only are there eight farmers markets, but quite a few residents pride themselves on being able to grown their own produce in personal and community gardens during the summer months. Madison also has a reputation for being one of the best foodie cities, and restaurants are more than happy to cater to special diet requests and healthy options.
2. Cambridge, MA: You wouldn’t expect a city that gets so much snow to be considered “walkable” by the residents, but business owners and city workers do such a good job of keeping the paths clear that even in the winter you can walk to work.
1. Minneapolis, MN: Coming in at number one, Minneapolis has long held the title of one of the fittest cities in the world, simply because its residents love the outdoors. From hiking and biking to swimming, kayaking and skiing, Minneapolis locals love their outdoor recreation. The city has clean air, unpolluted water and recycling and composting is the norm here. We’re scoping Craigslists for apartments starting… now.
Is your home town on this list? Tell us why you agree or disagree with the choices on this list in the comments below!