In the past few years, cities from coast-to-coast have prioritized wellness. Hubs are now home to urban running paths, bike-sharing programs, and public parks that host weekly yoga classes. Gallup and Healthways studied 48 U.S. metropolitan areas’ efforts toward well-being-- and these are the cities are really reaping the benefits of new programs.
Residents in these cities are more likely to exercise, eat healthier, and face lower risks of chronic disease.
Which communities stand out? Below are five cities that topped the list—and some of the best ways to stay active in each.
Copy Bostonians and run the riverfront paths of Charles River. You’ll meander through the Esplanade, a leafy park on the Boston side; then over one of the bridges connecting the city to Cambridge. Spin studios are Beantown favorites, too. Try the city’s first, Recycle; or Boston-only The Handle Bar.
2. San Francisco
A walking tour of hilly San Francisco might be enough to meet your step count (and up your heart rate), but locals loop through the Presidio, a tree-lined park and former army post, then up the thighs-on-fire Lyon Street Steps. Bring your camera. You can see both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the distance.
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Windy City runners will tell you: Their city’s Lakefront Trail—which snakes along the coast of Lake Michigan and is conveniently lined with mile-markers and restrooms—is one of the best parts of jogging in Chicago. Go music-free through Lincoln Park Zoo; it beats any musical stimulus.
4. New York City
Beyond access to just about any studio class you could dream up (think boxing and hip-hop vinyasa), you’ll also find opportunities to get exercise in some unlikelier places, like by running up and down the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Earn a coveted New York meal by brunching on the other side of the river, in Brooklyn, and forgoing an Uber: Trek over one of the city’s bridges by foot instead.