What makes a city healthy? Is it something as complicated as the frequency and intensity of the diseases suffered by the people of that city? Or the much simpler air quality figures? If we were to go by the definition of the WHO, it’s a little bit of both. According to the WHO, healthy cities strive to improve the social and physical environments in which its people live.
The health of a city can also be gauged from the number of options available to its people for staying fit. This includes gyms, spas, and other places where they can work out as well as experience healthy eating options. After considering all these factors, we came up with a definitive ranking of the seven healthiest cities in the world. So prepare your car with the best roof rack accessories and get ready to visit your nearest healthy city.
The city of love. The city of lights. As if Paris didn’t already have enough credentials to its name. It has now also been declared the healthiest city in the world. The French have managed to stay in shape despite having a wide variety of mouthwatering dishes at their disposal. This has made many people curious about their diet and way of life. It truly is a wonder that a place renowned for its cheeses, bread, and desserts is the healthiest city in the world.
It was found that it’s the mindset of many French people, especially the women, that allows them to stay in shape. The French have tiny portions at a time. And they are not opposed to walking or biking to places instead of taking their car or the bus. This allows them to get their daily dose of exercise and stay in shape at the same time.
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
In Chiang Mai, it’s the traditional way of life that allows people to stay healthy. For instance, the conventional diet of rice, fish, and fresh veggies is not only healthy but also nutritious. Thai herbs and spices like turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, and coriander have numerous health benefits. So it’s no wonder that Thai food is fast gaining popularity in the West, as people are trying to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.
What gives Chiang Mai an edge over other Thai cities is its large number of wellness options. Chiang Mai has seven spas per square kilometer, second only to Paris. And it also boasts of the highest number of yoga and pilates centers.
A small city, Barcelona’s vibrant culture is best captured on foot. Which makes its people healthier and its air free from fumes and carbon released by automobiles. The city is built in a manner that allows people to bike to places via a carefully constructed network of bike lanes. The people of Barcelona are also actively engaged in yoga, fitness programs, and therapy, as they are incredibly concerned about their health and wellbeing.
The city also supports a healthy lifestyle by being home to several organic food joints. Every part of the city has at least one organic food restaurant, shop, or cafe. So you don’t have to fall back on unhealthy alternatives in case you’re suddenly faced with hunger pangs. In 2016, Barcelona declared itself a “veggie-friendly” city. The idea was to provide vegetarian and vegan options in a country, which is renowned for its meat. A meat-free diet makes people healthier and slows down the process of climate change by reducing meat production.
The second Thai city on this list, Pattaya may be known for its beaches and raging parties, but its fitness centers are worth a visit too. Every year, millions of tourists flock to Pattaya, which has given rise to the booming hospitality industry. Equally, the large wellness industry has started to cater to the needs of the tourists. Such benefits, however, are enjoyed by the locals as well.
The spas and gyms at the 5-star hotels and resorts with their world-class services and the exclusive fitness centers have made it very easy to remain healthy in Pattaya. It has the highest number of gyms and fitness centers in the world.
Vancouver is dedicated to its goal of a healthier city with its “Healthy Vancouver” program. The program focuses on the health of people as well as social, cultural, and environmental factors. The comprehensive plan has measures in place to allow people to get more active, seek help for their mental health or addiction, or train as healthcare workers.
Vancouver also has a budding wellness industry. There are a large number of spas offering a host of treatments, along with a considerable community of yoga-enthusiasts. There are many yoga classes in every corner of the city. Moreover, conscious eating is a huge part of this emerging fitness culture in Vancouver, which is only second to Miami in the number of health food stores.
Known to have more health food stores than any other city, Miami also has a variety of organic eating options in almost all cuisines. Even the popular fast food joints have come up with their healthy alternatives.
The beaches of Miami offer some of the best workout spots in the world. And, people get their daily dose of exercise from swimming, surfing, or simply jogging or doing yoga on the beaches. Experts have pointed out that the sea air has many health benefits. It makes your lungs healthier, improves circulation, and helps improve the body’s defenses.
SAN FRANCISCO, USA
Often in conflict with Miami for the title of the healthiest city in the U.S., San Francisco has more walking trails than any other American city. And, is tied with Washington D.C. for the highest number of running trails. San Francisco is home to the second-highest number of parks in the world (after Paris), and 98% of its people live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
There are several healthy food stores and restaurants, which keep obesity in check. The cost of healthcare is another factor working in favor of the city. It has a world-class facility that helps patients with dieting and weight-related diseases.
In a globalized world, more and more cities have started dedicating their time and resources to help people improve their health. As a result, many healthy new towns are emerging every year, and governments have also introduced health-related policies in several cities.
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