Healthiest Cities Challenge
This post was sponsored by The Aetna Foundation. I may be compensated for sponsored posts seen within Nosh and Nurture, but know that I only work with companies whose initiatives and products I stand behind 100%. All opinions are my own.
How healthy is YOUR city?
If you're like most American's, you're unable to quantify this with a distinguishable answer, however, in a survey given by The Aetna Foundation, most residents would rate their city a C. This seems highly lacking to me and I know from experience, that where you live can have a major impact on your overall health and lifestyle.
Not only are we lacking in knowledge of upping our cities health factors, most American's perceptions of health are skewed. When surveyed, most American's, up to 77% according to the CDC, would rate their health quite high, stating that they live a healthy lifestyle 5 out of 7 days. Yet when we look at this countries health decline (50% of adults suffer from at least one chronic illness) and rising obesity rates, one could wonder if this is in fact the truth.
Geographical location, along with environmental influences, have a great deal to do with our state of health in any given point in our life. I know personally, living in southern California as compared to living in Arizona's West Valley, southern California greatly offered me more healthy fare, including vegan and gluten-free options, as well as more even weather temperatures and community health events that allowed me to walk more and exercise outdoors year round. Whereas, in an Arizona summer I barely make it outside, let alone to walk or get to the gym. Is part of this my doing? Of course. But part of it is the location factor. It all plays a part. My city is also greatly lacking in any eateries that aren't a mass chain, leaving very few healthy, locally sourced options.
That is why I was so passionate to pair up with the Aetna Foundation and their Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. It's a beautiful initiative that helps motivate our cities to put new programs in place to influence the health of it's community.
And we, as our city's patrons, can play a part in the integration of improved conditions for how our area supports health and wellness. That fact is not only exciting, it gives us hope for a healthier lifestyle overall for not only us, but for our children's generation. The Aetna Foundation stated that 94% of America's are willing to do something in order to make their environment a healthier one.
How can we do that? I share six ideas below that you can work on over time. As for what we are doing, Mr.
69% of American's believe it is crucial to tend to our mental state to avoid stress, while 59% believe being in a good mood makes or breaks our day. This group also agrees that fitness and nutrition play an equally important role in our well-being. This means we are on a good path to a majority of American's seeking balance and understanding the importance this trifecta of details makes. There is hope!
Walking, yoga and meditation are wonderful ways to de-stress and its important to take time out of each day, no matter how brief, to check in with yourself and your state of well being. Even on the busiest of days I take a moment throughout the day to assess my stress level and decide if I need to step away and get fresh air, if a gentle stretch will help or if I need to break away all together for a short yoga or meditation session.
As we juggle work, family, home and social responsibilities, self-care becomes more and more a vital aspect we need not push to the back burner. Many feel guilty in doing so, but in the end your work, relationships and overall happiness will be amplified when you're centered, less stressed and happier overall.
The Aetna Foundation is looking for the top 50 healthiest cities and YOU have a chance to make an impact in your community and get them nominated. If you follow along the challenge you'll get to learn about the innovator cities that are making the biggest changes. Those include:
Before we wrap up, make sure to visit my post of tips on how you and your family can increase Health & Wellness in your home every day! The Aetna Foundation also gives some great tips, so make sure you check it out to see what we recommend! And, if you feel so inclined, pin and share with all your lovely friends and family.
And finally, we'd love to know what makes YOUR city great? Comment below or join in the conversation on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #HealthiestCitiesChallenge and let us know! If you also tag @noshandnurture, I'll feature a list of Healthy Rock Star cities here on Nosh and Nurture's Wanderlust to spread the word on how awesome your city is doing or what you are doing / eating / enjoying in your city to boost your health and wellness.
5/11/2016 10:40:03 am
I am well aware that my city (San Antonio) wouldn't be on this list sadly I think we are on the most over weight list but I blame all the awesome TEX-MEX That being said the city is getting more of an urban element and i would love to help implement some of these ideas. Thanks for sharing.
I live in Charleston, SC and I'm not sure how we'd rank on the list. Most of the events involve alcohol and southern food, however, the local restaurant scene is one to talk about. I know of 1 garden and a few non-profits, but I wish we had more healthy initiatives for kids.
5/16/2016 01:55:58 pm
The south is notorious for their southern food + alcohol, but I LOVE that you have a local eatery scene with better options and a garden! I love community gardening
5/16/2016 11:31:00 am
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5/18/2016 09:54:20 am
Thank you Heather! I'm glad you enjoyed
5/16/2016 12:22:04 pm
I live in Southern California...almost every city is healthy!
5/16/2016 01:55:09 pm
Thats what I miss about Southern CA! Some of my favorite eateries in the US are in Long Beach <3
5/16/2016 01:16:49 pm
Super cool post, and something I definitely think about when I travel and explore!
5/16/2016 01:56:45 pm
Thanks Krista! Yeah its fun to know of events and eateries ahead of time since I too travel a lot ;)
5/17/2016 07:28:20 am
Thanks for the ideas. I love to explore my own city, Pittsburgh!
5/19/2016 09:02:50 am
TEMPE! I love this city. Some of the Healthy things about this place include 2 weekly famers markets for about 9 months of the year selling local and often organic fruits, veggies, honey. coffee, eggs, and goods. Eggs - many of the neighborhoods in the area allow each resident to own up to 5 chickens for backyard eggs. The City collects plant waste separately, composts the waste and uses that compost for planting projects around the City and has a couple of days a year where residents can come get about as much free compost/mulch as they want for free. It's awesome - it's keeping waste out our landfills and providing a usable product. Tempe is really bike friendly - maybe one of the most bike-friendly areas in the Greater Phoenix Metro area. There are wide bike lanes on most streets that are well connected even with bike/pedestrian only paths through certain areas. Speaking of, there are a ton of options for free, outdoor activities - parks, and hiking, and shaded walking paths, lake fishing, and more. We live in the Downtown area and love to get up early on the weekend to take a bike ride to one of our favorite Breakfast joints - currently, Snooze and NCounter top the list. They both offer great healthy options that can include fresh squeezed juices, gluten free options, customizable plates to fit your needs, and Snooze uses cage free eggs and brews locally made Cartel Coffee. And these are just our two current favorites. Both of these also offer "adult" beverage options, if one is looking to jazz up their morning brunch. In the afternoon and evenings, we often ride our bikes up to the AMC theaters and catch a meal and drink before or after at one of the nearby restaurants with large, shady, outdoor patios. Directly next door to the theater is PeddleHaus Brewery which offers really tasty and natural, freshly made diner options and brews their beer with a special heat-capture system that reduces energy consumption and process emissions. Movies are our regular go-to, but a hike up A-Mountain, a jog along the Tempe BeachPark water front, or renting a bike or boat for a few hours on the lake also make for an awesome afternoon. And a couple of times a year, we grab the light rail to head downtown to enjoy the happenings in Phoenix. I could go on and on..., but I'll stop here for now.
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Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.