Obesity is a real problem in the United States and especially here in the San Joaquin Valley. It is affecting our children and youth more than ever and is causing major health problems for our adults. Clearly this is one of Fresno's greatest challenges.
Luckily, we also live in an area where it is easy to adapt to a new and healthier lifestyle- Fresno is made for outdoor play! In fact, it is one of the main components of the Fresno Brand Platform- California's Year-Round Playground.
Spring seems to hit Fresno a month early every year and lasts into May and those sunny and gorgeous days just beg to be played in.
Summers can be hot- and for a few weeks there in July and August downright scorching, but they're also great for evening swimming. Summer mornings are beautiful and perfect for a walk or run.
Our Autumn season seems to last for only a few fleeting moments when the heat turns down a notch in October, in a week of crisp but still manageable-in-a-t-shirt weather before the chill comes in. However- our Winters are so mild that they're really like Autumn everywhere else, so of course outdoor fitness is great all Fall and Winter too.
We have biking trails, walking trails, and playgrounds galore - just like adults, kids need that 30 minutes or more of physical activity!
Starting a new healthy routine can seem daunting, but Fresno also has several supportive communities to help get your program up and running- many of them free or cheap. Spark People is a huge website for calorie counting, tracking fitness and connecting with other people trying to lose weight, and SparkFresno is the official spark team of Fresno. They have meet ups monthly, and chat in message boards offering support and advice all for FREE! There are also always programs like Central Valley's Greatest Loser, Team in Training, and joining your local roller derby team *ahem* to get support and make friends while getting in shape.
But really, back on the roller derby thing- I know I harp on it a lot- its my passion- BUT there are all kinds of fun sports to get into here even as an adult. Rugby, Kickball, Roller Derby, Petanque, If you're game, there probably is a sport for you to play. If you love to ride your bike, you can find a likeminded community in iBike Fresno. We have great BMX Track at Woodward Park, too!
Trails, teams, and beautiful sunny days aside, there is one more reason why Fresno is conducive to making healthy changes, and I've touched on it before- the produce!
Everyone knows that the foundation of a good diet lies in getting full servings of veggies and fruit. We live somewhere where making this happen can never get boring. You can join a CSA if you're adventurous and want a variety of fresh fruits and veggies every week- even in the dead of winter your box will be filled with beautiful treats all in season and filled with nutrients that you probably can't even pronounce.
Finally, we're close to some of the most beautiful places in the united states for skiing, hiking, cycling and surfing. I don't like to point people out of Fresno, but in this case it can't be overlooked. Within a few hours you can be skiing Sierra Summit or hiking Half Dome. You can be enjoying the surf at the beach of your choice in anywhere from 2 hours to 8, try doing that in Iowa.
Sure, we have tasty hamburgers*, but we have the perfect places to work off the calories, whats not to love about Fresno?
(Photo stolen from... somewhere.)
*I am a firm believer in moderation not restriction. If I had to live life knowing I could never taste a cheeseburger again I probably wouldn't live long enough to see another day of Fiber One cereal. Fresno has definitely done me right on the healthy lifestyle front, i don't like to pay much for anything so the walking trails are a godsend. If you're looking to start down a healthier path but don't know where to start or need support I'm always down to be a buddy!
**I didn't mean to get all preachy or anything, I know there is nothing more irritating than an enthusiastic dork.