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Best Places to Live: Cities to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Being healthy and eating clean is the new black, and there are good reasons for that. With such an insane pace of life, stress at work and on your way there (say hello to traffic jams), lack of sleep, and extensive use of gadgets, we are gradually turning into the generation of burned-out-always-tired freaks. Given this, there is no wonder why an increasing number of people decide to change their current lifestyle for better, which usually means more physical activity, better food choices, regular meditations, and alike. Some people go as far as to move to another city, where it would be easier for them to change their habits and incorporate a healthier lifestyle.

If you belong to the latter group of people (or simply itching to learn which American cities are especially good for healthy foodies and fitness geeks), this post is for you. We’ve researched the entire country and composed a list of seven cities that are perfect for living a healthy and balanced life.

Factors We Considered

It wasn’t easy to decide which criteria to take into account. Eventually, we decided on the following four: walk/bike score, state obesity rate, the popularity of organic restaurants and stores, and air quality index. Plus, assuming you are planning to move to one of these cities, we have also included a median rental price for each location on the list.

San Francisco, CA

Average rental price: $3,737/mo
Walk & Bike Scores: 86 and 75
State Obesity Rate: 25.0%
Air Quality Index: Moderate
Organic Restaurants: Blue Barn Gourmet, Green Heart Foods, Seed & Salt, Project Juice
San Francisco has been called the best US city for healthy eating multiple times already, and for good reason. To begin with, the area boasts a year-round season for growing produce, which explains the popularity of farmers’ markets (Soma StrEatFood Park, Noe Valley Farmers’ Market, and Off the Grid are the most popular in the city). What’s more, the majority of locals are crazy about staying healthy and fit, and this trend fuels the demand for organic stores, juice bars, and restaurants with a healthy menu. What’s more, San Francisco is one of the greatest cities for biking. No wonder why local obesity rate is among the lowers nationwide.

Minneapolis, MN

Average rental price: $1,266/mo
Walk & Bike Scores: 69 and 81
State Obesity Rate: 27.8%
Air Quality Index:  Good
Organic Restaurants: Peoples Organic, Tao Natural Foods, Common Roots, French Meadow Cafe
If moving to San Francisco is slightly out of your budget, take a look at Minneapolis. Surprisingly or not, this city is one of the best for lifelong health. To begin with, Minneapolis boasts great walk and bike scores. Now add to that below-the-average smoking rates, lots of parks, relatively good quality of air, and plenty of farm-to-table restaurants, and you’ll surely see why Minneapolis is commonly referred to as one of the greatest American cities for healthy living.

Thousands of apartments

Washington, D.C.

Average rental price: $1,883/mo
Walk & Bike Scores: 77 and 69
State Obesity Rate: 22.6%
Air Quality Index: Good
Organic Restaurants: Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, Farmbird, Chaia
Boasting the title of the fittest and healthiest city in the US, Washington is obviously more than just a political capital of the country. In Washington, vibrant cycling culture swirls around to such an extent that a few years ago every second grader in Washington, DC, was taught to ride a bike . Washington is a place to be if you want to enjoy occasional picnics, hiking and biking during weekends, healthy and delicious dining out, as well as the overall spirit of fitness and vitality. When it comes to healthy cities, Washington is surely the one to look up to.

Boston, MA

Average rental price: $2,770/mo
Walk & Bike Scores: 81 and 70
State Obesity Rate: 23.6%
Air Quality Index: Good
Organic Restaurants: Cocobeet, LifeAlive, Dig Inn, Boloco
There is a long list of reasons that make Boston so good for healthy living. To begin with, local access to exercise opportunities is among the highest in the country. Next to that, there are nearly 250 farmer’s markets across Massachusetts and a lot of them are located in or nearby Boston. Since Boston was planned and founded back in 1630, it is exceptionally walkable and boasts small scale that is hard to find in any other major city. What’s more, Boston hosts a world-renowned Boston Marathon and is commonly referred to as the running capital of the country.

Portland, OR

Average rental price: $1,342/mo
Walk & Bike Scores: 65 and 72
State Obesity Rate: 28.7%
Air Quality Index: Good
Organic Restaurants: Broth Bar, Prasad, Laughing Planet Cafe, Canteen
Cutting a long story short, Portland is lovely. The city boasts more than 200 park areas and over 150 miles of trails for biking. Back in 1971, local authorities prioritized bike and pedestrian safety, which is why Portland is so good for long walks and bike rides. Here in Portland, smoking rates are low and so are prices for rent. This means you can move here for a year or two simply for the sake of having some rest from crazy urban life. Portland is truly a green paradise, and it’s amazing for outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, running, etc. Not even to mention plenty of restaurants serving organic (and delicious) food.

Seattle, WA

Average rental price: $1,726/mo
Walk & Bike Scores: 73 and 63
State Obesity Rate: 28.6%
Air Quality Index: Good
Organic Restaurants: Sweetgrass Food, Sprout Salads, Eggs and Plants, HeartBeet
If you’ve never been to Seattle before, there is one thing you should know about this place right from the start. This city sparkles with recreation options, cozy restaurants serving delicious and healthy meals, and parks that are great for long walks or picnics in good company. Yet another factor that makes Seattle such a healthy place to live is that less than 12 percent of local adults smoke, and city authorities make efforts to make this numbers drop even further. On top of that, residents of Seattle enjoy great access to recreation and fitness facilities.

Denver, CO

Average rental price: $1,366/mo
Walk & Bike Scores: 61 and 71
State Obesity Rate: 22.3%
Air Quality Index: Moderate
Organic Restaurants: Root Down, Mad Greens, Honor Society, Olive & Finch
Located in proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Denver is an exceptionally good place for staying fit. Think of those weekends spent in the fresh air hiking or biking. Isn’t it what a healthy and happy life is about? But the landscape is not the only thing making Denver a healthy mecca of the US. Not so long ago, the city boasts its Denver Moves initiative, the goal of which is to connect some on- and off-street bike routes and create a network of comfortable biking corridors across the city. What about food, the city hosts a number of farmer’s markets and plenty of restaurants for healthy dining out.

Of course, if you are determined to become the healthiest version of yourself, you don’t need to move to another city to achieve this goal. It’s all about your habits and motivation, not your zip code. However, it is also true that our surrounding has a profound impact on how we live and what choices we make. That is why moving to a city where people are focused on being healthy and happy might be a head-start to your lifelong health and vitality.

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