Healthy Cities That Can Inspire the Rest of Us

With obesity at an all-time high and active lifestyle campaigns at the forefront of our culture, it’s a yearly battle between American cities to take the title of "Healthiest City." Even if you’re home base doesn’t take the cake for being super healthy, there are many practices that you can garner inspiration from to live a healthier, happier lifestyle—no matter where you reside. From the Midwest, to the Northwest with a little Southern flair thrown in, there's no excuse not to get up, and get moving.

Austin, Texas

With high temps in the summer, Austin locals cool off with a variety of public swimming areas like Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Park. Prices to hang with the Austinites and stay active are as low as they come, ranging from $1 to $5, so all residents can utilize the great outdoors without breaking the bank.

On top of all the outdoor swimming areas, Austin is a great place for watersport enthusiasts to kayak or paddle board on Lady Bird Lake. This city is also a runner's paradise—locals love to jog on the expansive outdoor trails. Plus, the cool vibe and artsy feel of the town is inspiration to take the long way home on a walk.

Adopt the Lifestyle: In your city, consider visiting a public pool. It's great way to meet people and stay active, and it’s a fun alternative to watching TV during the hot summer months. Also, consider checking out the local art in your town. A stroll at an outside street fair or even through an art museum is an entertaining way to get some movement in.

Portland, Oregon

Widely known for being an outdoorsy crew, Portland residents have a seemingly endless outdoor playground right in their backyard. With parkland, community gardens, farmland for fresh veggies, farmer’s markets, bike paths, and beautiful Mt. Hood just a short drive away, Portlanders radiate an active community vibe.

Dubbed America's best bike city by bicycling enthusiasts, the Rose City offers bike trails and commuter cycle lanes in nearly every corner of the community.

Adopt the Lifestyle: The nature-loving culture of the area is definitely inspirational for other cities and something that you can emulate in your hometown. The next time you go to dinner or run local errands, consider riding your bike instead of driving. If you don't own a cycle, there are bikeshare programs across the U.S. that you can use for point-to-point trips. Cruise a local farmer’s market in your area and commit to visiting once a week for a supply of organic fruits and veggies.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Scoring top in the country for heart health, these Midwesterners get their cardio on no matter what the weather is like outside. During the summer, the bikeable city hosts farmers markets and values the active lifestyle.

During the winter, spin studios, gyms and cutting-edge fitness facilities come alive, drawing a plethora of fitness-junkie crowds. For most people, staying active and sweating once a day is just a way of life.

Adopt the Lifestyle: Draw inspiration from these cold-weather warriors and consider dedicating a space in your home to fitness. If you live somewhere cold, bring the great outdoors in, with an all-season sunroom. Designate this new addition as the family fitness studio or your personal yoga haven—equipped with free weights and yoga mats.



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