Diet, exercise, etc. are all critical to wellbeing. But health isn’t just about physical status. Many consider mental and emotional fitness equally crucial, along with spiritual wellbeing. Lots of factors come into play influencing overall health, including where someone lives. Since about two thirds of U.S. residents live in cities, it’s particularly important to know what urban areas actually support a healthy lifestyle. WellWell has singled out some of the best.
Arguably the current largest indicator of health and safety is avoiding COVID-19. Although, both Pierre and Montpelier consist of populations less than 21,500, residents in both state capitols are doing their part towards remaining safe as the pandemic drags on. Each are small cities that average only about two COVID-19 cases out of 100,000 people, below one new case a day. Although they may not seem like the most exciting places or states to visit, locals enjoy a variety of restaurants, nature parks and other landmarks in two cities far from being a coronavirus hotspot.
This is a no-brainer. The real question is what isn’t in New York City? When living in one of the largest cities in the world, everything is right at the fingertips or next door. Having the highest walk score and one of the highest transit and bike scores in the United States, makes owning a car seem unnecessary. Compared to other top cities worldwide, The Big Apple ranks third in the most pedestrian-friendly cities. Besides, nothing can beat a walk-through Times Square or the many landmarks such as the World Trade Center, the United Nations Headquarters, or the Empire State Building. Not the mention, the many restaurants, shops and culture on nearly every block.
Sunny weather certainly helps encourage people to live healthier by highlighting going outside and being active. After applying sunscreen and being out in the sun, the body begins to reap the benefits of the sunshine. Exposure to the sun helps boost overall mood, improves sleep, strengthens the immune system and lowers blood pressure. If someone is looking to enjoy some fun under the sun and possibly flex the guns, Yuma, Ariz., will offer the most opportunities to do just that all year long.
The state of Oregon is known to be proactive in promoting biking policies, so it comes to no surprise that the state’s biggest city is a bike riders paradise. The city boasts more than 200 miles of bike lanes, which helps more than 6 percent of its residents commute on bikes. Although bike riders might get hit with some rain from time to time, the abundance of bike laws across town encourages people to drive less and bike more, ultimately promoting a healthier lifestyle.
What Portland is to bike riding, San Francisco is to recycling. In fact, San Francisco recycles more than any other U.S. city, largely due to its infrastructure and policies. Recycling and trash organization is so strictly prioritized in San Francisco that people must consider throwing their trash into one of three “streams”: blue for mixed recyclables, green for compostable and black for landfill trash. There are other aggressive regulations set in place to help the overall environment, such as banning plastic checkout bags and creating recovery plans for construction debris.
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