Top 10 healthiest cities for women
San Jose, California: Healthiest Overall
Whether they're running stairs at Communication Hill or kayaking on the bay, 84 percent of women here exercise. Mayor Chuck Reed says San Jose is halfway to its goal of 100 miles of interconnected trails and has bike sharing, too. "We're working hard to get more people to ride," he says. "I cycle every weekend with my wife along one of our creek trails." More great habits: Only 8 percent of women smoke, 99.8 percent wear a seat belt, and they eat tons of fruit and veggies compared with the average.
The payoff: A life span of 84 years -- three years longer than the norm. "Healthiness is contagious," says Angela Hiatt, 27, who works at Google. "When I'm heading home and I see people enjoying the last hours of daylight with a walk, bike ride or run, I'm much more likely to head outside than to my couch."
It’s super-safe, with half the violent crime average, and 77 percent of women here exercise. This community, less than 10 miles outside of Washington, D.C., also boasts below-average rates of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes among women here.
San Francisco, California
Lots of women bike those hills to work, and we admire their legs of steel! Only 8 percent of women here smoke (maybe the city’s pioneering smoking bans have helped?), and the number of women diagnosed with depression is also below average.
Santa Barbara, California
Ahhh, beach hikes. There’s 10 times the average number of trails. Women in Santa Barbara also have some of the lowest rates for BMI (body mass index) and smoking.
There’s not much fast food except for roadside coconuts. Rates for smoking, depression and skin cancer are also below average, as is the city’s average BMI (body mass index).
Santa Ana, California
Women in the O.C. have the lowest rates of depression and have above-average rates of exercise compared with the other cities on our list. Could be those sunny skies?
It’s a nice place: Women feel supported by friends. The city also has below-average rates of skin cancer, asthma and high cholesterol.
Fargo, North Dakota
Even with the frigid winters, folks in Fargo sleep great, stress less — and wear cute winter hats (we’re down!) This city of more than 100,000 also has an above-average number of women covered by a health plan and below-average rates of heart attack and skin cancer.
Clean air, organic food and green buildings: eco-awesome. Also awesome? Below-average rates for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack.
Foot-friendly streets mean fewer pedestrian deaths in this cute city of about 42,600. Burlington also boasts below-average rates of diabetes, heart attacks and smoking.