An estimated 83% of Americans live in large cities or urban areas, which is expected to rise to 89% by 2050.
The city streets can be exciting, but living in urban areas often distances people from living in close proximity to nature, which in turn has a detrimental impact on their overall mental health and well-being.
Living in a rural environment isn’t for everyone, and if you want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of big-city living but also want to have access to healthy foods, green spaces, outdoor activities, and fresh air.
Before choosing a reliable moving company, make sure you choose from one of the most forward-thinking, health-conscious cities in the country.
Whether you are moving to Florida or need help leaving Colorado Springs, the team at Rocky Movers can help you through the entire process, from the free quote to taking the final box off the moving truck.
What Makes a City Healthy?
Your doctor’s definition of healthy may vary depending on your age, gender, or other factors.
But what makes a city “healthy?”
Is a healthy city an overall great place to live? Does it have a lot of parks, an excellent school system, or immaculate drinking water?
Here are some factors that are considered when labeling a city as healthy:
- A town that is conscious of its citizens’ health: According to the World Health Organization, truly healthy cities are concerned with their residents’ overall health and work towards creating positive legislation and initiatives.
- Plenty of outdoor activities, parks, hiking trails, and green spaces: Look for a city with plenty of ways to get outside and exercise or enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, including neighborhood parks, green space, and nature trails.
- Encouraging healthy diets: Choose a city with not only several healthy restaurants and other options but also farmer’s markets, community gardens, and high nutritional standards in their schools and daycare centers.
- Easy access to rural areas outside the city limits: Among other things, look for an area with several robust rural settings within a short drive of the city limits.
- A focus on improving environmental issues: Move to a city that focuses on economic growth and affordable housing and features a local government passionate about environmental causes.
- Access to a variety of healthy food: Many urban areas are incentivizing corner stores and supermarkets to sell healthy options or pass laws and ordinances that permit Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, services in the area.
Focus on Health and These Other Factors When Choosing a New City
On the surface, a metropolitan area with Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods in every neighborhood, plenty of farmer’s markets, and urban parks is the true mark of a healthy big city.
Beyond this, how is the local government addressing other concerns about a person’s wellness, welfare, and well-being?
The Safety of City Streets
Big cities are notorious for high crime rates, but when you look more closely, crime statistics should really be considered on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.
For example, some of Denver’s family-friendly neighborhoods are a great place to take to take your kids for a long walk or go for a run after work.
In addition to safety, consider these other factors:
- The weather: In addition to the heat, humidity, and chance to explore the outdoors in a mild climate, consider the city’s air quality.
- The cost of living and availability of affordable housing: Most people discount the negative impact that the stress of livability and affordability in almost every category, from groceries to utilities and housing, can have on one’s overall physical and mental health.
- The median household income and job market: It’s difficult to enjoy your new life or favorite park if you cannot find gainful employment or afford an apartment or home, so thoroughly research the available jobs in your industry and cost of living index.
- Public transportation and parking: One of the strongest health and wellness indicators is a metro area with a robust transportation system and ample parking.
2024 Healthiest Cities: Seven Amazing Options
A healthy city focuses on public health initiatives, improving the well-being of its citizens, and, of course, has plenty of opportunities for its population to eat well, exercise, and concentrate on their mental and physical health.
Are you ready to pack up and move – Here are seven excellent options across the country for anyone who wants to focus on their health for 2024:
Named the most health-conscious city in 2019, the city by the Bay has a population of 715,717 residents.
Pleasant during the summer months, be aware that you will pay handsomely for the city’s beautiful view, as the median home price is $1.4 million, and the average cost of rent is $3,267/month.
Despite the high cost of living, there are several reasons why San Francisco has earned the distinction of being a city that cares about the well-being of its citizens.
Beautiful Neighborhoods to Bike and Explore
In addition to boasting the most walking trails per capita of any other city, there are several other reasons to call San Francisco home, including:
- The highest number of running trails per citizen
- Ranks among the top 10 for the highest concentration of healthy restaurants for each citizen
- Several outdoor parks and plenty of opportunities for recreation, including hiking Lands’ End Trail, Twin Peaks, and Redwood Creek Trail.
The life expectancy is higher in San Francisco than the national average, there is plenty of access to healthcare clinics and primary doctors, and the smoking rate is far below the national average.
Known as the birthplace of the burrito, San Diego’s population is 1,374,076.
San Diego is known as one of the fittest cities in the United States because of its high percentage of biking and hiking trails, several dog parks per capita, high percentage of homes within 10 minutes of a city park, low obesity rate, and several healthy restaurants.
A Great City to Retire and Enjoy the Mild Weather
With an average high temperature below 80 degrees throughout the summer, San Diego is a great place to get out and enjoy the several outdoor activities available, including a stroll through the botanical garden or the massive downtown cultural park, the largest in the country.
The life expectancy of a citizen is 82.2, well above the national average expectancy of 77.5 years.
An estimated 78% of residents exercise at least once a week, with yoga being one of the most popular workouts amongst health-conscious citizens.
After the strain that Covid put on everyone’s life, it is no wonder that people are focusing more on health and deciding to move to Denver, one of the ten healthiest cities in the United States by WalletHub.
With a population of 693,279 people, one of the downsides of calling Denver home is the average cost to purchase a house or rent an apartment, which is well above the national average.
However, if you are planning on moving to Denver, there are several ways to get out and enjoy the mild air temperatures. You will rarely suffer through a hot July day and several winter sports, from skiing to snowboarding and snowshoeing.
A Mild Climate, Great Public Transportation, and Plenty of Outdoor Activities
In addition to effortless access to the Rocky Mountains, there are several other reasons why the Mile High City is considered such a healthy place to raise a family, including:
- Denver was named the third-best city for a healthy retirement by Bankers Life Center
- The city was named one of the best cities to ride your bike by AnytimeEstimate.com
- Denver has terrific access to healthcare, a low smoking rate, a low obesity rate, and a higher average lifespan.
- You don’t need cars to call Denver home because of the city’s robust light rail and bus systems.
If you are retiring and considering Denver, let us provide you with senior long-distance moving tips.
Although Sin City is known for the lights and casinos on Fremont Street or the blazing hot temperatures during the summer, there is a lot more to Las Vegas than meets the eye.
More people are moving to Vegas not to enjoy the nightlife but to enjoy the healthy food options, indoor recreation, and reasonable rent prices.
With a population of nearly 654,000 residents, the average rental cost for a one-bedroom in Las Vegas is $1,100/month, well below the national average of $1,702/month.
Whether you find the right neighborhood in Vegas or choose from other top destinations after Denver, our team of brilliant packers and movers is here to help.
Beware of Outdoor Sports Under the Sweltering July Sun
The summers in Las Vegas are downright brutal, and it is not uncommon for the afternoon temperatures to climb more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you prefer a brisk walk to burn off calories, an early morning job, run, or stroll through your neighborhood will prevent heat stroke from over-exertion.
Although Las Vegas might seem like a town of excess, there are actually several excellent healthy food options, from farmer’s markets to restaurants, spread throughout the city.
For example, health-conscious locals dine at:
- Rachel’s Kitchen
- Eatt Healthy Food
- MTO Cafe!
Tips for Staying Cool While Working Out Under Harsh Conditions
There are few hours of the day when Las Vegas isn’t sweltering, so if you insist on running, walking, or working out under the intense sunlight, follow these simple tips to stay cool and hydrated:
- Eat a small meal before working out
- Wear breathable, lightweight clothing
- Take plenty of breaks and find a shady spot
- Drink water in small sips; never chug when you are thirsty and sweating
Ready to call Vegas home? Read this Beginner’s Guide to Moving!
New York City
Coming in a respectable 12th on WalletHub’s healthiest cities list, New York City is the most densely populated urban area in the country, with over 18,937,000 residents in the metro area.
Be aware that while there are several healthy restaurants per capita, a massive green space in the middle of the city, Central Park, and a multitude of gyms and fitness centers to choose from, the cost of living in the Big Apple can make it difficult to enjoy the expensive amenities of the city.
Forget about finding an affordable one-bedroom rental, as a modest apartment costs $4,100/month.
You can save money by looking for a rental in the more affordable neighborhoods throughout the city, including Parkchester, Bronx, Lindenwood, Queens, and Briarwood, Queens.
Working Out on a Budget in the Big Apple
Unfortunately, although New York scores high in several categories, it has some of the country’s most expensive gym memberships.
Several rentals offer on-site workout centers, but if you cannot afford to live in a full-service building, there are some pretty good ways for you to get a great workout without breaking the bank, including:
- Look for chain workout centers offering price breaks for new members
- The city provides excellent free workout programs for kids and adults of all ages
- Take a long stroll through Central Park or any of the eclectic neighborhoods in each borough
Known for the Chicago Cubs, multi-championship Chicago Bulls, and, of course, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and hotdogs, there are many ways to stay fit and improve your health in the Windy City.
Chicago has had issues with childhood and adult obesity in the past, but the city, in conjunction with the University of Illinois Chicago, is making a concentered effort to improve the city’s health score over the next few years, including:
- Improve the life expectancy of every ethnic group, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian citizens
- Improve the mental well-being and economic status of all residents
- Concentration on improving the health status of underserved community
A Great Town for Young Professionals and Staying Active
Although the living costs in the area are higher than in the rest of Illinois and the country, there are several job opportunities and ways to stay active in this vibrant and growing city.
Consider these fantastic and free ways to stay active while enjoying the bustle and bustle of downtown:
- Kayak down the Chicago River
- Take a stroll through Navy Pier
- Rent a bike and take a ridge throughout downtown and the many eclectic neighborhoods
Otherwise known as “Rose City,” Portland, Oregon, has a population of 652,500 people.
If you want a large city that feels like it is just a few steps away from nature, Portland offers you the best of both worlds.
You can enjoy the 250 parks, green spaces, and 150 miles of trails, ranked fourth as the healthiest city in the United States.
An Ideal Town for Active Adults
Portland is ranked seventh in the country for active adults, so if you are a young professional looking for the ideal way to meet new people at the gym or retiring and desire a fun way to feel younger while enjoying the sunshine, there are several options.
Portland residents take great pride in their sustainability, and many homeowners love maintaining their green streets, eco-roofs, and solar panels.
Ready to Relocate? Tips for Staying Organized, Active, and Healthy During Your Move
No matter the size and complexity, moving can be tricky and exhausting, and it is not uncommon for you to live an unhealthier lifestyle, from dining on convenience foods to remaining inactive while packing.
- Stay organized: Create a precise packing and decluttering plan and stick to it.
- Set aside one hour a day to relax and destress: Schedule time to take it easy.
- Make the time to fix healthy meals: Skip McDonalds in favor of healthy meals and snacks.
Packing a Moving Truck to Seattle, Washington, Napa Valley, or Beyond? Let the Best Mile High City Movers Help!
At Rocky Movers, we provide a wide variety of household moving services and a lot of advice to ensure your move is as stress-free as possible – Including ensuring you and your family move to a great city!
Our Customers Also Ask
What cities are the most physically active?
Whether you are set on living in big cities or small towns, you want to ensure that your new neighbors are as active as you.
Here are a few of the most active cities in the country:
- Seattle, Washington
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Fremont, California
- Irvine, California
- Portland, Oregon
Denver is also on that list, so if you are considering the Mile High City, also check out these fun moving stories!
What is the fittest city in the U.S.?
According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the Elevance Health Foundation, Arlington, Virginia, is the fittest city in the United States.