Santa Monica: Making Healthy Living Easy
If you’re looking for a change of pace from your sedentary lifestyle, look no further. Welcome to Santa Monica. Located in sunny Southern California just outside of Los Angeles, Santa Monica offers everything you need to begin your new healthy and active lifestyle.
According to Howard Frumkin’s TedTalk, “Healthy Human Habitats,” a healthy community is one that allows humans to thrive.
A healthy community can grow in many different ways. It comes through regular social interaction, routine physical activity, accessibility to nature, and the lack of a drive-thru culture (yes, finally for once, not having something is good). Thriving communities also have regular community engagement and large sidewalks for walking.
In today’s fast paced lifestyle, it’s easy to get lost in the grind and delay becoming physically active.
The longer we do, the more our health is jeopardized. An inactive lifestyle puts us at a greater risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women in America.
Santa Monica combines healthy living with the essentials. In this city, it’s easy to do.
Everyone has to eat. We would all love to go to a sit-down restaurant but most of us simply don’t have the time to do so. So what would most opt for in a time crunch? Probably fast food–the type that’s quick, cheap, greasy, and made even before you ordered.
Instead of flocking to fast food joints, residents gravitate towards the growing culture of food trucks, a healthy alternative. During lunch hour, local food trucks park near businesses. This eliminates the need for employees to potentially drive to a fast food restaurant.
People walk to browse the selection of food-trucks and converse with vendors to find out about daily specials. What could have been a greasy lunch now became an opportunity to exercise and eat something wholesome.
There are no food deserts in Santa Monica. Instead, there are many farmer’s markets scattered in the city that occur all throughout the week. Local farmers and growers bring their produce and goods to allow the public to buy the current season’s best products.
Live music performers also showcase their talents for entertainment, which adds to the experience. The farmer’s market strengthens the community by bringing people together and promoting healthy social interaction.
After all of this eating, it should be time to hit the gym…or not. In Santa Monica, workout spots can be found everywhere. The cliffs overlooking Pacific Coast Highway and the crashing waves of Malibu are a popular place to do yoga under the sunshine. The Santa Monica Mountains offer scenic hiking trails with varying difficulties and levels of adventure.
Frumkin emphasizes that reconnecting with nature is a great way to unwind from everyday stresses. Studies have shown that being in a nature-oriented environment lowers tension and can increase happiness. Spending regular time in nature has also shown to increase the value in community and the appreciation of others.
If moving to Santa Monica is out of the question, then at least you know what to look for and do in your hometown. The lifestyle change to being healthy and active may not be easy or fast, but once it happens, you’ll be glad you did.