How to Stay Healthy Living in a City

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Staying in a city is a great way to live a safer and more environmentally friendly lifestyle.[1] Aside from sporting a happier population, city living also provides you with plenty of opportunities to stay healthy.[2] To begin, try finding ways to stay active in your everyday life, such as biking and running. If youre looking to improve your diet, try meal planning and looking for healthy grocery store and restaurant options in your neighborhood. Finally, take advantage of the citys resources to keep regular tabs on your health and wellness. Youre only a few steps away from being your healthiest self! This article will tell you how to.


[Edit]Staying Active

  1. Travel by bike instead of car to get places. Invest in a bike to save time and money traveling. While cars seem faster, you can have more mobility by riding a bike. Check and see if your city has any bike routes or bike lanes built into the street that allow you to travel more safely.[3]
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    • See more of the city on a bike! For example, if you live in New York City, try biking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  2. Join a local gym to stay healthy. Search online or look through your local newspaper advertisements to see if theres a gym or fitness club near you. While gyms are a bit more expensive, you get constant access to special equipment. Dont worry about the facility being too crowdedif anything, exercising in a busier place can help you feel more motivated.[4]
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    • Use an online review site to figure out the nearest and cleanest gyms in your area.
    • See if you can find a yoga studio in your area or within walking distance to increase mindfulness and stay fit.[5]
  3. Run to stay in shape. Use the abundant amount of sidewalks around you to get some exercise around some nearby city streets. If you dont feel like driving or biking, running can also be a great alternative for getting from place to place. Whenever you go out, make sure that youre running in comfortable shoes and wearing a reflective shirt or vest.[6]
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    • You can also run in the wintertimejust remember to adjust your wardrobe to the elements.
  4. Participate in citywide activities to meet new people. Look online or at your local community center to see what events are going on, like yoga sessions or cooking classes. Look for opportunities that are free of chargejust keep in mind that these events might fill up fast due to popular interest.[7]
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    • For instance, San Diego has a partnership with Scripps Health that sponsors free, healthy events each month.
  5. Search for green spaces to spend time regularly. Check the area in walking distance from your home to see if you have any urban green spaces, such as public parks, nature preserves, or sports fields. Try to visit urban green spaces at least once a week to increase your happiness and be active.[8]
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    • Urban green spaces also include community gardens, tree cover, and yards as well.

[Edit]Choosing Healthy Foods

  1. Plan healthy meals for each week. Create a calendar specifically for mealtime, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Decide ahead of time what youd like to eat throughout the week, so you can shop for what you need early on. If youre going to be busy on a certain day of the week, opt for a frozen meal instead.[9]
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    • Planning your meals allows you to adjust your lifestyle to meet more of your nutritional needs.
    • Meal planning is also helpful for people who are vegetarian or vegan.
  2. Save time by using simple cooking devices. Opt for a slow cooker if youd prefer the taste of a home-cooked meal. Prepare any recipe earlier the day by adding a healthy combination of vegetables, proteins, and other ingredients into the appliance. If youd prefer a more instant meal, try microwaving a healthy frozen dinner, instead![10]
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    • When using a slow cooker, remember to use less liquid than you would in the traditional cooking process. Additionally, consider cutting your produce into larger pieces if you want your food to be even more flavorful.
    • Avoid using cookware that has Teflon or non-stick properties since they could create fumes that are harmful if inhaled.
  3. Order from healthier restaurants instead of going for fast food. Download apps like DoorDash so you can get a variety of food delivered to your front door. By using these services, you can try a more customized delivery service that gives you the freedom to choose healthier options.[11]
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    • If you have an issue with your order, companies like DoorDash and Postmates are very easy to contact.
  4. Figure out where your closest grocery store is. Use a navigational app or website to find out what grocery stores are in your area. Before you go shopping, look up some reviews of the stores. Additionally, look at convenience stores to see if they sell any healthy snacks or entrees.[12]
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    • When shopping, try to avoid processed foods, as these are less healthy.[13]
    • Look for farmers markets as well. You can purchase a lot of fresh and delicious produce for a great price at these kinds of places![14]
    • While at a grocery store, be sure to check out the freezer section. Frozen fruits and vegetables are easy and healthy options that last for a long time in your home.
  5. Take advantage of healthy places that are open late. Look up the opening and closing times for restaurants, convenience stores, and other eateries and shops. If your work schedule causes you to arrive home at a later time, knowing your options can be useful for grabbing a late-night snack or meal. See if any stores or healthy restaurants near you work with a third-party delivery app, like Postmates.[15]
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    • Some stores also have online grocery shopping options that let you ship food to your door. If you dont want to deal with an extra shopping trip or a late-night grocery run, opt for this program instead.[16]
    • Ideally, try having a set mealtime. In the long run, this can help contribute to healthier eating habits![17]
  6. Participate in a community garden. Ask your landlord or neighbors to see if theres a community garden in the area. If there is a plot near you, consider using a section of it to grow your own produce. Some apartment complexes and other condensed living spaces (e.g., condos, flats) already have plots that you can join or contribute to. If your neighborhood doesnt have a garden already, try starting one instead![18]
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[Edit]Managing Your Health

  1. Schedule regular doctors appointments to keep tabs on your health. Live each day of your city life to the healthiest and fullest by checking in with the doctor on a regular basis. If youre ever feeling under the weather, look up an urgent care clinic that can examine your symptoms right away.[19]
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    • If you dont have insurance or have a plan that wont cover the cost of your visit, try looking up free clinics in the area. While they might be difficult to find, most cities have places that are willing to see you for little to no charge.
    • Bring a notebook in case youre worried that youll forget what your doctor says later on.
  2. Stay up-to-date on the latest vaccines and flu shots. Ask your doctor if you need any new vaccines, be they for new illnesses (e.g., the flu) or longstanding sicknesses (e.g., chicken pox, measles, polio, etc.). Since cities are more densely populated than other regions, illnesses can spread more rapidly. Protect yourself and those around you by getting all of the immunizations that you need.[20]
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    • For example, the United States has had an increase in reported measles cases over the past year.[21]
    • If you do feel sick, wear a face mask to prevent spreading the illness to others or being exposed to more disease.
    • You can also get an online doctor instead of going out if you feel very bad.
  3. Practice good hand hygiene while youre in public. A lot of people touch door handles, shopping carts, and other items in public, so germs can spread easily between people. Do your best to avoid touching handles with your bare hands, using a tissue or paper towel instead. Dont touch your face so you avoid transferring bacteria near your nose and mouth.
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    • Many stores offer sanitary wipes for shopping carts so you can wipe them before you use them.
    • Always wash your hands before you touch your face or eat so you dont spread germs.
  4. Meditate regularly to reduce your anxiety levels. Keep your mind clear by practicing meditation each day. Spend a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing, which will help distract you from many of the major stressors in your life. Ideally, try meditating for about 20 minutes each day.[22]
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    • Meditation has other positive side effects, like lowering your blood pressure and current heart rate.
  5. Use a HEPA air purifier in your room to filter out harmful particles. High-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) air purifiers have special filters that can remove small particles, such as dust, dirt, and smog. Keep an air purifier in your bedroom, and run it while you sleep so you can breathe clean air.[23]
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    • Not every city will have bad air quality. You can check the air quality index of your city online.
  6. Get a healthy nights sleep. Cities can be bright and noisy, which can make it difficult to sleep well through the night. Close your windows if youre able to and use blinds that block out light so your room is completely dark while youre sleeping. If you cant fall asleep due to the noise, wear ear plugs while you sleep to block out annoying sounds.[24]
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    • Use a white noise generator or app to help you block out ambient city sounds if you arent able to use ear plugs.
    • Wear a sleep mask to cover your eyes if your blinds dont entirely block out light.
    • Avoid using your phone or electronics right before bed so you arent kept awake from the blue light.
  7. Spend time with nature to improve your mental health. Give yourself some room to think and breathe by spending time at a park or other natural area. While these spaces can be hard to come by in cities, try to look for places with a lot of trees. Although it may seem mundane, you can get a lot of mental health benefits from walking through areas with a lot of foliage, like lowered anxiety.[25]
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    • Search online to find a park near you.
  8. Find a supportive community to help boost your mental health. Spending time with other people has positive effects on your mental health and helps you get to know your community. Find a meditation group, a book club, church, or local meet-up in your area so you can branch out and make more friends. Seek people that have similar interests as you so you can have fun together.
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    • You can find local meet-ups and groups using apps like Facebook and Meetup.
    • Check your local library to see what events and groups they host.
  9. Even if its just for a few minutes, set aside some time to focus on your dental hygiene. A little time in the morning and before bed is all it takes to take care of your teeth![26]
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    • Brush your teeth two times every day with fluoride toothpaste. This will help prevent cavities.
    • Using an electric toothbrush will be even more beneficial for your teeth.
    • Remember to floss! To floss, put the floss between two teeth, and make it into about a C shape. Shake it there to cause friction and remove plaque.
    • You can also try a waterpik to wash your teeth even better.