Top 10 unhealthiest cities for women
Poor habits, high disease risk and life expectancy is falling.
Help your town get healthy: "I live in Charleston, SC. The heat and humidity make it hard to exercise outside in summer." -- Pat Day Baremore Whitely
The key is to be an early-morning exerciser. "Try to get in physical activity before going to work or school, when the weather is cooler," Dr. Stork suggests. "You may find that you have more energy to fuel your day as well." Snooze-button addicts (we feel ya), post your get-fit plans the night before on Facebook or Twitter. Publicizing a workout keeps you honest -- and you might find a friend who wants to meet up.
Detroit has a high rate of heart disease. Heart.org has tips to lower your odds.
Healthy tip: Is your 'hood a veggie desert? Head to the frozen aisle. You can thaw frozen fruit to use in yogurt, cereal, salads or smoothies, say SELF contributing experts Stephanie Clarke, R.D., and Willow Jarosh, R.D. Add frozen beans, peas, spinach and artichokes to soups and stir-fries. As a backup, reach for canned produce. Look for low-sodium, BPA-free versions, and rinse to cut salt by 40 percent more.
Nearly one in four women here puff. Must-do: SmokeFree.gov
Little Rock, Arkansas
Lots of allergies and migraines; MayoClinic.com has advice.
Help your town get healthy: "After I moved to Los Angeles, I developed allergies I didn't have in Oregon. I believe it's air pollution." -- Mindy Pye
Allergy symptoms can spike on high-pollution days. But it could also be a change in pollen, not pollution, that's bugging you, Dr. Stork says. "Some cities have pollen scores much higher than others, and some have different allergens altogether," he says. (Tip: Counts are lower near the shore.) Whatever's triggering your allergies, nasal saline washes, air purifiers or over-the-counter meds may curtail symptoms, Dr. Stork says. If you're suffering, track when your symptoms are worst and discuss with a doc.
Obesity might contribute to women's high disease rates.
Healthy tip: Even in ultra-fit Santa Barbara, few women manage to walk to work. Instead, convert your morning update with your boss into a "walking meeting," suggests James O. HIll, Ph.D., director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado. Fit face time!
Almost nobody walks or bikes to work. Blaze a trail.
Help your town get healthy: "In East Bend, NC, the roads are so narrow that it's hard to ride your bike outside." -- Marieta Call
You can't exactly pave your own bike lane, which is why it's so great that biking initiatives have become a hot issue across the country. "Communicate with city officials through public forums to let them know your area is in need of bike lanes," Dr. Stork says. "You are likely going to find others who share your concerns." You can find bike clubs, advocacy groups and congressional representatives working on the issue in every state (North Carolina included) at AmericaBikes.org. For now, ride with pals. According to the group Transportation Alternatives, tripling the number of bikes on the roads halves the accident rate.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
There are 835 fast food joints! Self.com has ordering tips.