Being healthy and happy is one of the top priorities for most Americans. Did you know that location matters? Some areas of the country are healthier than others. Some cities excel more than others in healthy eating options and more green space for outside activities. In addition, affordable healthcare is a top priority for its residents.
If you are interested in seeing how your city rates or if you are planning a move soon, WalletHub compared more than 170 of the most populated U.S. cities from across four key parameters: healthcare, food, fitness and green space. They used data from various sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the CDC, to put together the final report standings.
You can read the full report here.
5. Washington, D.C.
It's not always about politics in Washington. Residents take time to enjoy the over abundance of running and walking trails available. Staying physically active is a great way to combat daily stress from work, school and everyday life.
Expert Signe Peterson Flieger, Ph.d, MSW, assistant professor, Tufts health plan professor of health care policy research, believes that healthy living begins with children. "Studies show that children learn better when they are well fed and have opportunities to move their bodies. To truly invest in healthy, wealthy adults over the long term, we need to do a better job distributing educational resources and opportunities across all communities, so that all kids—no matter what neighborhood they live in—can have access to safe schools, high quality education and plenty of opportunities for physical activity."
4. Portland, Oregon
Residents of Portland, Oregon, can enjoy a plentiful selection of healthy options when dining out. It ranks No. 1 in the country for the healthiest restaurants per capita. And Portland residents aren't letting the gray and rain keep them from being active. Portland also ranks No. 3 for the highest percentage of physically active adults
According to expert Alicia Dahl, assistant professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, "If you find weather as an easy excuse to skip a workout, then jump on YouTube for a few in-home exercise videos. You don't need a fancy gym with an expensive membership to increase your heart rate and build muscle!"
3. San Diego, California
It's always sunny in California. With plenty of sunshine, accessible fruits and vegetables for everyone, green space and affordable health care, San Diego ranks high in one of the healthiest cities in the country. Year after year, it performs well.
2. Seattle, Washington
The abundance of rain doesn't keep Seattle residents inside. Ranking No. 1 in the highest percentage of physically active adults, Seattle's residents enjoy the city's wide array of running and walking trails to stay healthy.
According to expert Kristin Hocevar, Ph.d, spending time outdoors is a benefit for your physical and mental health. "Even something as simple as taking a walk over lunch or biking to work is both low cost and good for you," Hocevar says.
1. San Francisco, California
San Francisco tops the list thanks to its residents enjoying a plentiful diet of fruits and vegetables every day. In addition, it ranks No. 4 for most healthy restaurants per capita with healthy options on the go. Not only is San Francisco eating healthy, it is moving daily thanks to ranking No. 1 for the most running trails per capita and most walking trails per capita.
READ THIS NEXT: The Fattest Cities in the U.S.