The following article is a guest post
If you’ve ever tried to change a major part of your lifestyle, then you know all too well: It’s really not as easy as buying a gym membership and some new sneakers. Instead, a better idea might be the David Sedaris method: Travel and try to change that one tough thing while being dazzled by somewhere new.
But even better, why not travel to the healthiest cities in the US while trying to improve your own health? You might just find that you like it so much, you’ll stay—especially because some of them are among the best places to retire.
3. Orlando, Florida
As it turns out, Orlando is more than just its theme parks (although they might be a bonus for some of the young at heart).
In a recent 24-point survey of America’s cities, WalletHub ranked it at number one in the “Budget & Participation” category, meaning its cost for fitness clubs, court rentals, and the like were low, while the numbers of sports stores and clubs and the number of children and adults participating in physical activity were high. Which makes Orlando both a place full of fun distractions and positive influences.
2. Minneapolis, Minnesota
If you’re looking to get lost in the great outdoors while still living in the heart of a city, then Minneapolis is for your—because its park system covers nearly 17% of the city. But more than that, the parks have been named the best in the country by multiple organizations.
In Minneapolis, there are loads of fun and healthy activities to keep your mind off what you’re trying to change, including swimming, hiking, and cross-country skiing—the kinds of physical activity that more than 87% of locals participate in on a regular basis. Plus, fewer than 14% of residents smoke, making it easier to ignore the siren’s call of your own cigarettes (if they’re the habit you look to kick), and there’s a large local farmers’ market at downtown Nicollet Mall, meaning you have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
1. Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is a suburb of Phoenix but a city of its own right, with around 220,000 people. It has the highest number of fitness centers per capita in the US. It also ranks in as the healthiest city in the US, and one of the best places to retire—which mean it’s a city that’s good for pretty much anyone of any age. It features mountains for hiking, clubs for dancing yourself into shape, and spas to soothe away your stress. Even better for those of you who love golf: It has the highest number of public golf courses per capita, which means you can focus on your swing instead of your cigarettes.
Making the move to a healthier lifestyle can be daunting, but there are cities out there that walk the walk—meaning you are surrounded by positive influences on all sides. Going there, then, may just be the change you need to change yourself for the better.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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