6 Health Conscious Cities to Move To

Jon Fesmire |

When researching some of the amazing U.S. cities for health-conscious people to move to, I noticed that many of these places appear on multiple lists. It’s no wonder. Things like great parks, bike paths, a variety of restaurants, and farmers’ markets all add to a city’s overall appeal if you’re a health-conscious person looking to relocate.

While there are many great options, here are six cities that are a cut above most places in the U.S. in terms of the overall health of residents.

Washington, DC

Washington, DC: The capital of the United States, the center of government. You might expect residents here to suffer stress-related health issues due to all the conflicts in U.S. politics, but for the average citizen, DC is a place of happiness and health.

The city does have its hot, humid summers. However, there are great places to walk in the morning before it gets too warm, and many people walk, jog, or cycle around the National Mall. If you want to challenge yourself, you can work up to jogging around the mall every day, a five-mile circuit.

Residents have access to many other physical activities as well, as DC has plenty of tennis courts, recreation centers, and swimming pools. In addition, look into Capital Bikeshare, a program that allows members to borrow bikes to get around town.

As for food choices, there are many farmers’ markets, including Eastern Market, when you’re looking for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN

The twin cities have so much of what people need to stay healthy, and a culture that embraces it. First, they have an expansive park system and many lakes, where you can walk, cycle, or swim. In fact, most of the city is great for walking and, with its many bike trails, for cycling.

The air is clean, and to many residents, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight is important. In public places, smoking is banned.

If you’re into sports, you’ll find baseball fields, tennis courts, golf courses, dog parks, playgrounds for your kids, and more. Yes, it gets cold and snowy in the winter, but the cities have plenty of fitness centers.

For healthy food choices, be sure to check out the Minneapolis Farmers Market, which has more than 200 sellers.

Portland, OR

Not only is Portland a progressive, intellectual, and artistic city, it’s also a good place to live if you want to live a health-conscious lifestyle.

When it comes to eating healthy, you’ll find a ton of vegetarian food options. Even if you eat meat, you can still enjoy a vegetarian meal now and then. There are also plenty of farmers’ markets when you want to get the best ingredients to make your own meals.

In addition, Portland has about 10,000 acres of public park land, including Virgil Forest Park, a protected wilderness area within the city. Many people walk or cycle to work, and if you want to go bike riding for fun, consider checking out the trail along Willamette River. In Portland, more than 80% of adults lead physically active lives, and only about 14% smoke.

San Francisco, CA

If you live in San Francisco, chances are, you will walk all over the city. The fact is, it’s so tough to find cheap parking in the city that many residents don’t even have cars. It’s also easy to get around on foot, by bike, or on the cable car or bus. So, want to head to Chinatown or Golden Gate Park? Walk part of the way, hop on cable car, and walk some more. You’ll get there in no time.

Besides being a great city to walk around, San Francisco has plenty of farmers markets with fresh produce, fresh fish from the bay, and many organic markets. Plus, every sort of cuisine is represented somewhere in the city.

Due to so many people living an active lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease is lower in San Francisco than in most of the country. There are also many good primary care physicians.

Boston, MA

About 50% of Bostonians consider themselves physically active. They like to get out of the house and walk, jog, or bike around town. In fact, many walk or cycle to work. Others take public transit to work, which involves walking to transit stations.

If you want to walk for the sake of walking, head to Boston Harbor. Or, check out the Freedom Trail, a great place to go for a walk and look at many historical sites.

Boston also has a culture of eating healthy. You’ll find many farmers’ markets with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also, the smoking rate is lower in Boston than in most of the U.S., lowering people’s risk of lung cancer and heart disease.

Sacramento, CA

The capital of California seems made for health-conscious individuals. First, there are plenty of opportunities and ways to exercise. The city, and surrounding areas, have playgrounds, dog parks, golf courses, swimming pools, and lots of open space. That includes parks in and around the city. If you have the funds and want to try something different, look into kayaking on Lake Natoma.

People in Sacrament do tend think about their health when it comes to eating, and you’ll find lots of vegetables and fruit at the farmer’s markets. Sacramento does, after all, is in an area rich in agriculture.

We hope this list helps you find a wonderful place to live that works with your healthy lifestyle. Of course, these are but a selection of the healthiest cities in the United States. When looking at other cities, think about what you’ve read here and look for comparable communities.