By Amanda Morgan
Throughout the United States of America, many cities are taking on the challenge of promoting health and wellness through their food, athletic facilities, and sustainable resources. Cities that encourage healthy living often help to produce well-balanced lifestyles. The healthiest cities in the United States were ranked by WalletHub based on their fruit and vegetable consumption, doctor visit cost, amount of green space, and number of fitness centers. Whether you are looking to change your lifestyle completely or bring your body back into balance, these cities have the resources to help you.
1) San Francisco, CA
First on the list is San Francisco, California; a state known for its dedication towards organic food, healthy living, and routine exercise. Located in northern California, this city offers stunning views of iconic tourist attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge while also supporting residents who aim to live a cleaner life. For people looking to cleanse their bodies, San Francisco has juice bars in every corner of the city. These natural juices can be used to help kick start the body into healthier eating. San Francisco has taken recent action as of April 2017 to convert 50 percent of the energy in the city to renewable energy. This bold target, will help San Francisco to become a cleaner city and produce less waste. Overall, it is this action towards a cleaner city environment which makes San Francisco number one on this list.
2) Salt Lake City, UT
Sustainability is the name of the game in Salt Lake City. From energy to food to transportation, the city has taken drastic measures to provide healthier living for its residents. Salt Lake City encourages its residents to eat locally grown food with multiple farmers markets throughout the week. Although the city has over 190,000 residents, these farmers markets create a warm atmosphere for them to buy local produce. In an effort to meet demands for fresh produce all year, Salt Lake City created a winter market from November to April. A recent study conducted by the CDC found that only one in ten Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables. This could be having a detrimental impact on many people because proper consumption of fruits and vegetables facilitates healthier growth and development. Salt Lake City’s commitment towards fresh produce encourages its residents to maintain a healthy life and eat well.
3) Scottsdale, AZ
Although Scottsdale, Arizona claimed the third spot on the list of the overall healthiest cities in America, it ranked number one in fitness. According to Wallethub, Scottsdale has the most fitness clubs per capita. Beyond traditional fitness clubs, Scottsdale offers many other ways to remain physically active with running trails, swimming pools, and outdoor sports. Arizona’s generally good weather permits Arizonians to partake in outdoor fitness activities for the majority of the year. While Scottsdale’s residents spend their days remaining physically active, at night they take advantage of the plethora of recreational activities available. Every Sunday evening during the summer, the Railroad Park holds free concerts which are well attended. The people of Scottsdale encourage healthy living through their enthusiasm towards exercise while maintaining a balanced life by leaving time for fun.
4) Seattle, WA
The city of Seattle seems to be taking the country by storm with its fast growing development towards healthier living specifically through food. Organic restaurants are becoming more popular in the city. While not all restaurants are organic, many do base their food around ingredients that are grown in the state of Washington. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, and cherries are the main stays in many dishes throughout the city to emphasize the local fruit. Seattle’s close proximity to the water gives residents and chefs access to fresh seafood. Fruit and seafood are nutritious and can be used to get one’s body back into rhythm. Another secret that Seattle uses to keep its city healthy is keeping a lot of green space throughout the city. Green areas lined with trees provide the perfect spot to go for a run, play Frisbee, or breath in some fresh air.
5) Portland, OR
Prepare to feel relaxed in the laid-back town of Portland, Oregon. Although Portland is an area bustling with people, there are many spaces in the city to center oneself. Both residents and visitors alike benefit from the comfortable vibe of Portland and find it to be a place to calm one’s mind. Throughout the city parks and gardens are scattered. With over 10,000 acres of public park in Portland, there is always somewhere to enjoy nature and embrace a healthier way of life. Portland’s multitude of green spaces encompass scenic views to enjoy while also promoting a better environment. The trees in these areas provide clean air which can help to improve one’s respiratory system. People who are exposed to clean air may feel invigorated and experience less illnesses. Visit Portland and enjoy a healthier way of life.
6) Irvine, CA
All that is required to fully experience life in Irvine, California is a bike and a spirit to explore. Irvine comes in at number six on this list due to the city’s emphasis on exercise. Bikes are one of the most common method for travel and exercise. With 301 miles of bikeways, there is no limit on travel throughout the city. Irvine’s dedication to its bikeways exemplifies its desire to promote alternative ways of transportation beyond cars. Biking is a healthy and green way of traveling around the community. All of this biking must be working to promote healthy living, since Irvine is tied for second with the lowest premature death rate. Hop on a bike and travel around Irvine to experience a healthier way of life through exercise.
7) Huntington Beach, CA
Health is at an all-time high in the city of Huntington Beach in California. Throughout the United States the average number of physicians per 100,000 people is 210. However, in Huntington beach there are 241 physicians per 100,000 people. This number illustrates the priority that residents of Huntington Beach put on maintaining physical health. One way in which Huntington Beach supports healthier living is by constantly improving their water supply. The water in this area has been measured by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being of better quality than the average water supply in America. Water is critical to human life and allows for proper functioning of the body. It hydrates the body, leads to healthier looking skin, flushes out toxins, and increases energy levels. Residents and visitors of Huntington Beach can enjoy the refreshing taste of clean water while helping their body function best.
8) Honolulu, HI
Honolulu, Hawaii: one of the most luxurious vacation spots in the world and a big proponent of healthy living. The serene atmosphere present throughout Honolulu is critical to its ability to promote a well-balanced life. Honolulu offers jaw-dropping views of nature, especially the ocean. Most people find that watching the waves has a calming effect and allows them to clear their mind. Once one refocuses their mind, they can begin to improve their physical health. There are many fitness activities to participate in in order to improve physical health, from surfing and swimming to hiking or hula dancing. To replenish all of the lost energy after participating in these activities, people can consume some of the local organic food, which is full of fresh ingredients. The food in Honolulu incorporates a lot of fresh fruit which further promotes a healthy life in this city.
9) Washington, DC
Living or visiting a large city such as Washington DC provides many opportunities to explore different avenues of cuisine. With so many options available it is easy to find healthy options on every block. Washington DC will help expand one’s palette to new foods that can satisfy any hunger while providing proper nutrients. One can check out local cafes that offer fresh wraps and juices throughout the city. Both convenience and healthy eating are possible, even in a city as busy as Washington DC. Farmers’ markets frequently make an appearance in Washington DC, especially during the summer months. They promote local produce and encourage people to consume fruits and vegetables. Residents can take a break from the mundane workday and visit a farmers’ market to kick-start into a healthier lifestyle through fresh food.
10) Santa Clarita, CA
Number ten on the list of the healthiest places in the United States is Santa Clarita, California. While number ten on the overall list, Santa Clarita was ranked number one in Green Space. Green space takes into account the number of parks, hiking trails, walking trails, and investment in its parks. The city of Santa Clarita has made it their mission, since 1987, to preserve the green space in order to increase the quality of life for the residents and also help the environment. With over 30 parks located in this area, the city has proven that they value their green spaces. The plethora of preserved land provides the opportunity to breath in fresh air, exercise, and clear one’s mind. These are all important activities to do when trying to start a healthy lifestyle.
11) Tempe, AZ
Last but not least is Tempe, Arizona at number eleven. Enjoy the warm weather in Tempe while engaging in physical activity to improve physical health. Swimming is very popular in this area due to the pleasant weather and it is a fun way to exercise while with friends and family. Parksalso provide an easy and convenient way to enjoy nature and get physically active. The parks in this city were strategically placed throughout so that they are no more than a half mile away from most residents. Tempe wants its residents to enjoy the outdoors and to continue to remain active. Healthy food is easy to find within the city of Tempe for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This availability of healthy food options encourages people to pick nutritious options when they go out to eat and to continue living a healthy lifestyle.