With the pandemic restricting our usual exercise regimes due to social distancing regulations, many Americans have had to adapt their fitness goals and align them with at-home workouts. Combined with the fact that many of us are comfort eating while in the midst of a global health crisis, this may have led some to gain the so-called, ‘Quarantine 15’ without even realizing. However, the good news about working or studying from home is not having to worry about your daily commute taking up too much time that could be used to achieve your at-home fitness goals for the day. But what happens if you don’t have adequate space in your home and don’t live near an open outdoor area in order to work out?
BarBend.com, the world’s leading strength training resource and news outlet, compiled a comprehensive list of the top fittest cities across California, using data backed by studies based on a variety of factors. These were combined to create an overall fitness score out of 100 for each city on the list. Fitness factors in this study include exercise opportunities, access to healthy food, air pollution, drinking water violations, physical inactivity, obesity and smoking, amongst others.
The cities and communities in Contra Costa County have a high rate of exercise opportunities at 970 (per 1,000 people) suggesting that the surrounding environment can play a key role in determining people’s fitness level.
Statewide 8th ranked Alamo was the most fit in the county with a score of 88.68, followed by Orinda #11 – 87.9, Blackhawk #13 – 87.57, Lafayette #22 and Danville #23 tied at 86.66, Clayton #27 – 86.42, San Ramon #28 – 86.29, Kensington #29 – 86.19, Moraga #30 – 86.15, Saranap (an unincorporated area between Lafayette and Walnut Creek) #38 – 85.58, Discovery Bay #41 – 85.3, Hercules #47 – 84.97, Pleasant Hill #52 – 84.76, Contra Costa Centre (Pleasant Hill BART Station area) #55 – 84.64, Martinez #56 – 84.63, El Cerrito #57 and Brentwood #58 which tied at 84.59, Oakley #65 – 84.31, Rossmoor (in Walnut Creek) #66 – 84.23, Walnut Creek #68 – 84.21, Pinole #69 – 84.12, Concord #78 – 83.83, El Sobrante #81 – 83.75, Antioch #87 – 83.58, Rodeo #90 – 83.48, Tara Hills (between Pinole and El Sobrante) #91 and Pittsburg #92 tied with 83.47, Richmond #101 – 83.25, San Pablo #115 – 82.75, and Bay Point #118 with a score of 82.71.
According to the CHR’s county health ranking model, “individuals who live closer to sidewalks, parks and gyms are more likely to exercise”, therefore access to exercise opportunities is crucial in maintaining a healthy population. Additionally, residents who live in neighborhoods with access to grocery stores that allow them to obtain healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, are more likely to have healthier diets than those who do not have access to these kinds of supermarkets. Considering the Golden State is abundant in national parks and natural landscapes, the great outdoors provides the perfect background for recreational activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, swimming and cycling. Additionally, Antioch was found to have low air pollution, low rates of physical inactivity, obesity and smoking.
View the top cities for fitness across California
“As you can see, there are a variety of external factors that can have an impact on a town’s overall fitness, which can be detrimental to the population’s health, especially where some don’t have access to sufficient space for their at-home workouts,” says Max Whiteside from BarBend.com. “If this is the case, you can still try and keep fit while going about your work for the day by standing, instead of sitting in front of your laptop, taking frequent breaks in which you can complete some lunges and squats, making mobility work a part of your daily routine. Remember your own bodyweight can also be a useful workout tool!”