How does your hometown stack up?
My hometown didn’t make the list at all. Neither does the city that I am currently living in.
However, it’s pretty interesting to see where some of the major cities across the U.S. stand according to a new study from WalletHub, which ranked America’s 150 largest cities based on overall health
To identify the healthiest cities in the U.S., WalletHub’s analysts compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across four dimensions — health care, food, fitness and green space.
Some of healthiest cities are in the Northeast and on the West Coast including San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland and Washington DC.
Meanwhile, the map of “least healthy” cities is pretty much the inverse of the following map of the “fattest” cities. Although the city I live in now didn’t make the healthiest city, it ranks 11 in the fattest metro areas.
Among other things, the health of America’s metropolitan areas was ranked by the prevalence of obese residents and access and health and wellness facilities at reasonable costs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, more than one-third of American adults and about 17 percent of young people were obese in 2012 — and that’s not even counting the overweight.
In addition, Americans spend up to $315.8 billion annually on obesity-related medical treatment, elevating health care costs exponentially for obese adults and children compared with healthier individuals. And in the workplace, obesity-related health issues yield indirect costs to the worker and employer alike.
Where to find options
It is easy to get lost in the statistics of either city. Regardless of where you live, both have positives and negatives.
I am fortunate to be able to afford a gym membership and have a car to get around. However, a gym membership is not the only option. I am fond of going to a neighborhood park. When lil man was younger, we would be at the park every Sunday morning. Now, it is just me when I want a change of scenery.
A neighborhood park allows you to watch your children play and get a workout in at the same time. You can even incorporate your children into your workouts. Push your child on the swing and squat between pushes. Use the monkey bars for pull-ups or hanging ab exercises. You can even use the steps for the slide for pushups.
Working out is only part of it. Finding fresh fruit and vegetables at a reasonable cost also helps. I do my best to find out what fruit and vegetables are in season and on sale weekly to help guide my purchases. It’s easy to spend more than you want when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables.
I have also found that finding a good Farmers Market is another good option. You can typically find local produce and help local farmers at the same time. It’s a win win. You can find your local Farmers Markets here.
Is your city on either of the lists?