How Healthy Is Your City?

From pristine hiking trails to intense fitness classes, west coast residents know how to maintain a healthy waistline and stay active.

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According to new results from the Dri-Power 360? Healthiest Habitats study released by Russell Brands, LLC, and fielded by Sperling's BestPlaces, Northern California took first place. The first-ever comprehensive "health report card" of U.S. cities looked at the follow criteria:

  • Gyms and athletic clubs (per capita)
  • Hiking and running trails (per capita)
  • Retail fitness establishments (per capita)
  • Percent of workers commuting by walking or bicycling
  • Bicycling infrastructure (miles of bikeways, other initiatives)
  • Percent of population getting daily exercise
  • Body mass index of population
  • Healthy eating—servings of fruits, vegetables

So when grades were turned in, Northern California got an "A." Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's BestPlaces says, "There are so many hiking trails, bike commuters, gyms, and outdoor areas for people to stay active. Plus, people walk...in San Francisco, people walk. People want to be outside." Sperling continues, "We did this study to show what cities are doing. To show cities what they are doing right and help other cities as a motivator to make a change."

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Rankings - Top 15 Healthiest Habitats

  1. San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland, California
  2. Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
  3. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Oregon-Washington
  4. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California
  5. Boston-Cambridge, Massachusetts
  6. Los Angeles-Orange County, California
  7. Honolulu, Hawaii
  8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia
  9. Denver-Aurora, Colorado
  10. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin
  11. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, California
  12. New York, Newark, Long Island, New York
  13. Salt Lake City, Utah
  14. Hartford, West Hartford-East Hartford Connecticut
  15. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Florida

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The west coast's weather brings residents outdoors more so than on the east coast, but that doesn't mean you can't be active. Sperling says, "These are metropolitan areas, so it's easier to get outside. The west coast's sunshine calls more people outdoors. Other areas, people have to drive. People have to make an effort to live a healthy life, and hopefully this study can help them live a healthier lifestyle."

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About the Author

Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for Active.com. She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.

Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for Active.com. She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.

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