This is 23rd in a series of 50 posts we are putting out throughout the years in anticipation of the celebration of our 50th Anniversary in 2015. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for the top things YOU love about Minnesota as well!
Did you know that according to the American Fitness Index the Twin Cities were named the “Fittest Metropolitan Area” for the 3rd year in a row in 2013? The annual report considers a lot of different factors and behaviors that influence a person’s overall health, including: exercise, obesity and smoking rates; access to health care; and the availability of recreational facilities, farmers markets and walking trails. In addition, the state of Minnesota as a whole was ranked 3rd in the 25 healthiest states in the U.S. in America’s Health Rankings in 2013! In regards to healthy, active lifestyles, I believe Minnesotans take on the U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial slogan, “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night will keep us from our rounds.”
For example, the other day my mom and sister were up visiting from Illinois and as I showed them around Lake Calhoun and Harriet, my sister was comment on how surprised she was by how many people were out jogging, walking their dogs, and cross-country skiing around the lakes despite the cold. It’s true – it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, Minnesotans are always out and about participating in some form of activity.
In a recent article, The Huffington Post praises Minnesota for their healthy living and happy people, naming what they believe are a few contributing factors:
1) Minneapolis boasts some of the best parks in the country – it is a city “built around the parks” not the other way around.
2) We are the “Land of 10,000 (and counting) Lakes” – Minneapolis and St. Paul claims 22 of those.
3) Wages are higher than the average national income, rent is affordable, and unemployment is lower than any major metropolitan area in the U.S. – these factors are linked to lower stress and better mental health!
What I love about Minnesota and the Twin Cities is that they offer plenty of opportunities for staying active year-round! During the winter, you will find me playing hockey and skating on one of the many rinks near my house. However, the spring/summer activities are my favorite – rollerblading around Calhoun/Harriet or fishing with my fiancé out on the lakes. What are some of your favorite Minnesota activities for staying healthy?