Even if you ignore the fact that the Bay Area is one of the most visually stunning 7×7 square miles on the planet, San Francisco has topped the rankings of the healthiest, happiest and fittest cities in the nation. You may want to check out the San Francisco homes for sale soon (see here) as it’s been named the best city in America by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2012.
Below or 12 reasons why San Francisco is one of the healthiest and happiest cities in the country:
1. Friendly for veggie-lovers!
Named as one of the most vegetable friendly places in the country by PETA, it is a xanadu of vegan and vegetarian eating establishments. Even the fruits that grow on the trees in public parks can be eaten. You will never run out of dining choices in San Francisco.
2. It boasts a dynamic spiritual life.
Yoga, meditation, and Eastern philosophy all share in the city’s genetic code. Alan Watts, a Buddhist philosopher and writer, introduced many residents to Eastern philosophy in the 60’s. However, an emphasis on a spiritually based belief system has been discovered to increase your well-being and reduce stress, no matter what your faith happens to be. This is perhaps what contributes to the good health of those who live in San Francisco.
3. Organic choices.
The online magazine called Organic Authority voted San Francisco the #1 best city for the organic foodie lifestyle. It’s easy to find wonderful community farms, food co-ops, farmer’s markets and organic restaurants as well.
4. It’s home to some of the nation’s most outstanding public parks.
From the Golden Gate Park to the Presidio to Dolores Park, San Francisco parks have been rated top in the nation by The Trust for Public Land. One can enjoy public art practically everywhere. Lately, little mini-parks called “Parkets” have been popping up all over, showcasing greenery and seats for those passing by. Walking through beautiful green spots in the middle of cities can focus your mind. It could be the reason by San Franciscans seem so fit and so zen!
5. Tons of outdoor activities.
The outdoor recreational exercise and activities choices certainly help make the San Francisco Bay Area the 7th – fittest metro area in the country. Between surfing at Ocean Beach, performing tai chi in Washington Square Park, or practicing yoga in Golden Gate Park, there is activity for each fitness desire. It’s easy to fit in your daily workout (never mind the gym) with such temperate weather and gorgeous public trains.
6. Esteemed cultural events.
Literacy events, art and live music can be found throughout the Bay, all year long. Studies have shown that going to these types of cultural activities and events can promote your mental health, lower your blood pressure, and stave off depression and anxiety
7. Near to nature.
Spending time in nature is known to lesson depression and stress while boosting ones level of happiness. Just a short drive from the city, and SF residents can enjoy biking trails, hiking and some of the most beautiful and natural landscapes on the West Coast. Check out Point Reyes National Seashore, Muir Woods, Marin Headlands, and Mount Tamalpais State Park.
8. Find Yoga everywhere — even at the airport.
Practically as universal as coffee shops around San Francisco, yoga studios are all over. With the cities roots springing from the New Age, meditation and yoga centers have grown and remain quite popular today. This is good news for residents of the city, who get to savor flexibility and strength training including the calming effect it brings to their stress. One can find any type of yoga, including at Terminal Two at the SF International Airport.
9. It’s a top city for biking.
Bicycling Magazine ranked SF as the 8th best city for bikers. And now 25 bike parking places, 20 new miles of bike lanes, as well as traffic signals to help riders has been added since the year 2010. A very expensive hanging bike lane ($500 million) was even installed on the new Bay Bridge, being the first of its kind.
10. Wine tasting benefiting health of the locals.
World renowned Napa and Sonoma wine vineyards have certainly added to the culture of SF. You may have heard that a glass of red wine may have health benefits, and that is true. Several studies have coupled moderate wine drinking with less of a risk to becoming obese. Heart-healthy antioxidants are also present in red wine.
11. Pooch friendly city.
It’s been often stated that there are more canine’s than kids in San Francisco. That might be true. It is a city with luxury dog hotels, pet cemetery, and rooftop dog cocktail parties. Dog ownership has also been related to reducing levels of stress and depression. Just another health benefit SF has to offer.
12. It celebrates neighborhoods and communities.
Most events to be at in San Francisco are free, well attended and outdoors. These events in the community aren’t just beneficial to the city, they have a positive effect on the residents as well. Building community bonds and strong social ties have also been found to lower anxiety levels and increase a person’s sense of well being.
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