I’m leaving Denver soon, but I started thinking about how there is a huge outdoor life in Denver and people seem to be very fit and healthy here…but I’ve also observed about ½ of that and ½ of the radical opposite around Denver, and it got me thinking about how healthy life is back home in Orange County.
I can say, with absolute confidence, that Orange County is one of the healthiest places to live. So if you’re looking to move somewhere where you would be encouraged to change your lifestyle habits and lead a healthier life, well, call me biased but we really do have it all in the OC. In fact, just out of curiosity, I did a quick Google search on healthiest cities and found Orange County listed as one of the “The 10 Healthiest Cities in America: 10 American Cities that Make Happy and Healthy Residents a Top Priority” from thesurvivorsclub.org.
Denver is also included, but on a side note, we must be so good over here in Orange County that they couldn’t decide between each city in the OC that they ended up nominating the entire county altogether. I suppose this is why–Wikipedia explains: “Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, there is no defined urban center in Orange County. It is mostly suburban, except for some traditionally urban areas at the centers of the older cities…” Our relaxed vibe does flow from OC city to OC city, and I suppose we do function collectively as one unit…that is the uniqueness & strength of the OC that you could really only understand from living here.
The article zones in on the fact that we enjoy a lot of healthy food that is grown locally in California and how there is a very laid-back vibe to enjoying life here. They hit the nail on the head! We also really do value our local businesses and organic products here.
From http://www.thesurvivorsclub.org/health/general/americas-healthiest-cities by Alexander Smith:
Orange County, CA
Orange County, CA is known for its sprawling beaches, never-ending sun and laid-back attitude. Perhaps, that is why Orange County made the top of the list for America’s least stressful cities. Locals enjoy healthy food much of which is grown locally in California, and an environment perfect for surfing and swimming. Halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, residents also can take advantage of the healthy attractions in those nearby cities. Although traffic and lots of driving can be a negative, many residents just kick back and let the waves “wash off” their stress.
My friend, Joe, (joedickson.net) is a Vegan–like many others who live in the OC. I’m not, because I love my meat, but I also have a lot of friends who are Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Gluten-free, Paleo, etc. & in the time I’ve spent away from home, I’ve realized how Orange County is able to support all of our different lifestyles in one very technologically-developed yet natural ecosystem.
There’s a joke where health-conscious food trucks (yes, they exist), bakeries, and businesses would only thrive in the OC bc that’s where the market is, but when you think about it, it’s not a bad thing! We are never short of health stores, clinics, Doctor’s offices, vitamin-supply stores, gyms, physical therapies, markets, or indoor and outdoor activities, and most restaurants have options to sub-in your food selections for other healthy alternatives, like brown rice or zucchini fries…basically, the OC is used to catering to each person’s individual tastes and no one finds it unusual or a hassle to make sure that you are getting what you pay for here.
It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately because I’ve been lazy to get a workout routine going and I’m starting to realize that I don’t have an excuse to not be in shape when I live where a healthy lifestyle is encouraged and made a top priority.
Gyms and working out have never exactly been my thing, but I want to build strength and endurance again since I used to run when I was younger, and so I’ve started thinking about where I can go.
I could run at the beach, the hills by the schools, the parks by the schools, the nature preserves, trails nearby, around the Mission Viejo Lake, around the many campuses nearby, etc. I guess I really don’t have any excuses anymore for being lazy and not getting into shape and taking care of my health! Seeing people walking their dogs, pushing their kids in strollers or doing the multiples-bikes, running, skateboarding, rollerblading, surfing, hiking, biking, dance workshops, any-other-thing-you-can-think-of-that-takes-physical-energy-ing around the OC serves as inspiration for me to take action with my own healthy lifestyle, too. But not dieting–I refuse to count calories! To me, enjoying your food is an important part of enjoying life and I’m grateful for the selection of all the yummy food here! I’m talking about not having an excuse to not do more than sit in a car all day and then sit at the computer all day because we are blessed with the fine weather and abundance of various activities and their support networks.
So, note to self: Get off your bum and enjoy what the OC offers daily!
Oh yeah, and if you want to reward yourself with a quick, unhealthy getaway? Make the short trip to indulge in one of the Indian Casinos or Vegas. Many of us who live here do!
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