If you’re doing gangbusters on eating right and exercising regularly, you don’t want to lose your momentum when you break out of your routine to go on vacation. It may be easy to take a break from your healthy habits on a trip, but there are some easy things you can do to stay healthy but still enjoy yourself.
When you travel, it helps to know the best cities for walking. It will be easier and safer to get more steps in when you travel to a walkable city.
Walkability may also affect your auto insurance rates. It’s important to compare rates online or work with an insurance agent to find the best car insurance rates.
We’ll help by revealing the U.S. cities best known for healthy eating, as well as the most walkable cities in the U.S. We’ll also detail what makes a walkable city so you know what to look for when planning a trip.
US Cities Known for Healthy Eating
There are a few U.S. cities that are known for having more healthy eating options, farmer’s market options, the number of dieticians per capita, the cost of groceries, and the percent of people that eat healthy.
House Method analyzed data for the best and worst cities for healthy eating from a list of the 100 largest cities. Anaheim, CA. tops the list of best cities for healthy eating. Others cities on the list include:
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Jersey City, NJ
- Irving, TX
- Santa Ana, CA
- Irvine, CA
- Garland, TX
- Gilbert, AZ
- Chandler, AZ
- Glendale, AZ
On the other hand, New York, NY, New Orleans, LA, and Boston, MA, are at the bottom of the list of 100 best cities for healthy eating.
What makes a walkable city?
A walkable city means the environment promotes safe walking. It means there are sidewalks, destinations within walking distance of residential areas, walking routes for pedestrians, and increased driver awareness of pedestrians.
Put simply, a walkable city means it is easy to get to attractions, businesses, and homes by walking. The downside is that just because a city is walkable, it doesn’t mean it is more safe to walk. Pedestrian deaths are still a concern in walkable cities as well.
The Most Walkable US Cities
Walking for exercise has many benefits. It is one of the best things we can do for our physical health to lower the risk for many diseases, keep bones and muscles strong, and boost heart health. Walking also lowers stress and enhances mental health.
It also means less cars on the road, which has an environmental benefit. Walking also has a financial benefit because it saves on fuel and car maintenance costs.
The most walkable city in the U.S. is New York City. Others that round out the list of the top ten most walkable US cities include:
- San Francisco, CA
- Jersey City, NJ
- Boston, MA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Newark, NJ
- Miami, FL
- Chicago, IL
- Washington, DC
- Seattle, WA
7 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Habits on Vacation
No matter if you travel to a city known for healthy eating, a walkable city, or neither, there are some things you can do to keep up with your health while traveling. While you are on vacation, here are seven tips to help you maintain your healthy habits.
#1 – Plan Ahead
Planning is one of the best things you can do to maintain your healthy habits while traveling. While planning your trip, choose a vacation rental with a kitchen so you can cook healthy meals. Make a grocery list for healthy menu planning during your trip or look online for restaurants with healthy food on the menu.
Plan your trip around activities that will help you keep up with your fitness goals. This also means you can plan a morning workout or daily walk into your agenda for the day. Check to see what activities are available for vacation, such as bike rentals, fitness classes, or walking tours.
#2 – Cook When You Can
If you have a vacation rental with a kitchen, you can cook healthy meals instead of eating out for every meal. You can still explore local restaurants, but cooking one or two meals a day is healthier than always eating out.
Even if you just have a refrigerator and microwave, there are easy and healthy meals you can prepare. Breakfast could be oatmeal or low-fat Greek yogurt and fruit. Lunch or dinner could be low-sodium lunch meat on a salad or on whole wheat bread.
#3 – Choose Water More Often
Water is calorie-free, easy to transport, and the most hydrating beverage you can drink. Keep a water bottle handy for easy and cheap refills when you are traveling. If plain water is too boring for you, try sparkling water or add fruits to add some flavor to your drink.
#4 – Get Your Steps in
You may have to be creative about keeping up with your fitness routine, but one great way to stay active is to get your daily steps in. Go for a brisk walk right after you wake up, do some home cardio exercises, or walk to destinations instead of driving there. Set a daily goal and then wear a smartwatch or pedometer to see if you can meet your goal.
#5 – Keep a Balance
It’s ok to enjoy yourself and indulge on vacation, but keep a balance between healthy habits and unhealthy habits. If you know you will be eating ice cream for dessert, make sure you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-dense foods during the day too. If you plan on having an alcoholic drink, remember moderation and drink plenty of water as well.
#6 – Get Plenty of Sleep
Vacations are important for relaxation, but it can be easy to get out of our normal routine and mess up our sleep schedule. Naps, late nights, time zone changes, and travel can all impact your sleep habits. Try to make sure you are getting enough sleep each night so you feel rested and restored.
#7 – Get Back on Track
Don’t worry if you find yourself taking a detour from your healthy habits for a day or few days. Just make a plan to get back on track when you can. Remember, a healthy lifestyle isn’t just temporary and it’s normal to have some ebbs and flows.
Vacations are a great time to make memories with friends and family. This doesn’t mean it has to be a vacation from your healthy habits. Travel destinations like cities known for healthy eating or walkable cities may be good vacation destinations, but remember these tips anywhere you travel.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. She has a BS and MS in exercise science and is a university professor of health sciences and human performance.