"Last year, nearly 40 million Americans chose walking as a form of exercise, and 10 million say it's their top exercise choice. Considering America's obesity epidemic, it's essential for more of us to be out there and moving," says Rosemary Ellis, editorial director of Prevention.
"Walking is the safest, easiest, most inexpensive exercise there is, which is why we partner with the APMA to recognize the top walker-friendly cities each year."
The Best Walking Cities for 2006 are (in ranked order):
- Portland, Oregon
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Boise City, Idaho
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Austin, Texas
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Fremont, California
- Raleigh, North Carolina
Click on the above cities to find local walking events.
Prevention and the APMA evaluated the country's 100 most populous cities for the ranking. The criterion that counted most was the percentage of people who regularly walk -- either for fitness and health, or to get to and from work. Additional criteria included various walker-friendly attributes such as low crime rates, mild year-round temperatures, the number of cultural attractions, participation in recreational sports and pet ownership.
The overall survey included over 18,000 topics of information about the top 100 cities from sources including the census bureau, other government agencies, and market research surveys.
"The health benefits of walking are boundless. Not only is it one of the best exercises for the feet, but it can help individuals lose weight, control diabetes, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke," said APMA President Dr. Harold Glickman. "The Best Walking Cities Competition recognizes those cities that don't just 'talk the talk' but literally 'walk the walk'."
Other major U.S. cities ranked as follows: Boston (26); Chicago (77); Dallas (61); Houston (42); Los Angeles (43); Miami (79); Minneapolis (71); New York (25); Philadelphia (31); Phoenix (33); San Diego (16); San Francisco (34); Seattle (22). The complete rankings of the country's 100 most populous cities are posted on www.prevention.com/walking.
"Wearing appropriate footwear is essential to walking," adds Glickman. "Plantar fasciitis, heel pain and even blisters can result when the wrong shoes are worn."
Prevention's "Special Walking Issue" hits newsstands starting today. In addition to naming the Best Walking Cities with the APMA, the April issue's featured editorial topics also include an easy-to-follow walking fitness plan and food guide; personal profiles of readers who love to walk; a review of walking gear; and much more.
Also in the issue, Prevention announces its 2006 Walking Challenge. Readers are invited to use Prevention and Prevention.com as their personal trainers to get in shape for either a half-marathon or full marathon. The magazine will host a "Team Prevention" of walkers at both the Portland Marathon (long considered the country's most walker-friendly marathon), in Oregon, on October 1, and the United Technologies Greater Hartford Half-Marathon/Marathon, in Connecticut, on October 14. For more information about these programs or other walking events, link to www.prevention.com/walking.
Concurrently, APMA.org will offer tips on how to start your own walking program and maintain good foot health.
Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association represents the nation's premier foot and ankle physicians. The Association has component societies in 53 locations in the U.S. and its territories and a membership of more than 12,500 doctors of podiatric medicine. For free foot health information, contact APMA at 1-800-FOOTCARE (1-800-366-8227) or visit www.apma.org on the Web.
Prevention magazine, America's leading healthy lifestyle publication, and the 11th largest magazine in the nation, has been providing readers with the most current information on health, fitness, nutrition, and healthy, active lifestyles for more than 50 years. It's the nation's most authoritative, trustworthy and innovative source for practical health information. Every month, the magazine reaches an audience of nearly 10 million readers and its highly acclaimed Web site, Prevention.com, averages 1.2 million unique visitors.
Prevention also publishes 18 special interest titles every year; prints three international editions in 21 countries; produces the top-selling Prevention Fitness Systems workout videos; conducts national surveys examining important health issues; and offers a line of Prevention-branded vitamins and personal health diagnostic tools. Prevention is published 12 times a year by Rodale Inc.
Source: Prevention magazine; Contact: Rodale Inc., Angelica De Las Salas, 212-573-0207, Angelica.DeLasSalas@rodale.com or The Rosen Group, Tom Suiter, 212-255-8455 ext. 13, firstname.lastname@example.org or APMA, Amie Haer, 301-581-9221, email@example.com.