If you’re thinking about relocating, the decision may have more of an impact on your health than you think. Residents in certain areas of the country have higher rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases. Listed in the the top 10 obese cities for 2013 were Topeka, KS, Lakeland, FL, Charleston, WV, Binghampton, NY and Mission, TX. On the reverse side, some of the fittest cities include Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Boston and Denver. What do these fit cities have that the others don’t, and how can you tell if where you’re moving will have a poor impact on your health?
One thing that all of the fit cities have in common is a great way to burn calories to and from work– they have well-maintained sidewalks, bike paths, crosswalks, traffic signals and walking paths as well as bike-share services and an abundance of bike racks. They also all have amazing farmer’s markets offering fresh and local produce to their residents and plenty of green space for outdoor activities (or white space for winter activities in Denver’s case).
So before you consider a relocation, make sure to do your research and ask yourself these 3 questions. If you’re planning on settling down for a while, they just might save your life.
1. Does the city support walkers and bikers?
2. Is there easy access to fresh produce?
3. Are there lots of places to play outside?