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Health and Wellness

Fit and fat cities

Men’s Fitness magazine released its annual list of the top-10 fittest and fattest cities in the country. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to point out the factors that go into making a city fit or fat and how this filters down to our own lives and individual fitness levels.Let’s take a look at the list:Top 10 Fittest Cities1. Albuquerque, N.M.2. Seattle3. Colorado Springs4. Minneapolis5. Tucson, AZ6. Denver7. San Francisco8. Baltimore9. Portland, OR10. HonoluluTop 10 Fattest Cities1. Las Vegas, NV2. San Antonio, TX3. Miami4. Mesa, AZ5. Los Angeles6. Houston7. Dallas8. El Paso, TX9. Detroit10. San Jose, CAWhat makes a city fit or fat? Neal Boulton, editor of Men’s Fitness, said the survey examines lifestyle factors in each city such as the number of fast-food restaurants and the average amount of television each household watches. All of these lifestyle factors were tallied to rank each city as either fit or fat.What motivated Boulton to create such a list? His answer was to “to motivate folks to look at simple things in their lives they can do to be healthy.” Boulton said he is concerned that America is always going to be a fast-food nation, where people have long commutes and busy lives. But, instead of a soft drink during the commute, he suggests water; instead of a fast-food snack, he suggests almonds.Another reason he said he publishes the list is to grab the attention of mayors and governors. What mayor wants his or her city to be named the fattest in the nation?ìThere’s a consciousness among mayors that they can motivate the population and go beyond the PR,î said Boulton. ìIt’s more than just having a mayor run the marathon. That doesn’t motivate people. What motivates people is starting a Fit City program. It takes action.îLet’s look at the top-four lifestyle factors used to compare cities and how each one has a hand in your own fitness level:1. Number of gyms: While you don’t control the number of gyms in your city, you do have control over your own workout schedule. Take the time to exercise, preferably three to five times per week, and watch your personal fitness factor skyrocket.2. Nutrition: This is broken down into the percentage of people in the city that eat five or more servings of fruits and veggies each day. What a great goal to have for yourself. Imagine actually eating five or more servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day. It is a simple goal but one that will dramatically increase your energy level.3. Exercise/sports: This is calculated by the number of city residents who are involved in fitness-related activities. Here is a simple way to join this group. Get started on a fitness program today.4. Junk food: Surveyors looked at the total number of fast-food places like pizza parlors, ice cream and doughnut shops in each city. Again, you don’t have control over the number of fast-food joints in your city, but you do control the frequency in which you partake in less-than-fit-fare. Enjoy in moderation.It doesn’t matter what city made the fit or fat list. The fact of the matter is that you and I have full control of our lifestyle and eating habits.Recipe of the month: Yogurt-Marinated ChickenGive your traditional old chicken dinner some spunk with this exciting new marinade. Your taste buds will celebrate the tender taste of yogurt and garlic with a hint of spice. Yield: 6 servingsIngredientsï 1/2 cup fat-free yogurtï 3 cloves garlic, mincedï 2 tablespoons lemon juiceï 1 tablespoon canola oilï 1 teaspoon sugarï 1 teaspoon chili powderï 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerrootï 1/2 teaspoon saltï 1/2 teaspoon ground cuminï 6 bone-in skinless breast halves (6 ounces each)Instructions1. In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine the first none ingredients; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.2. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill for indirect heat. Drain and discard marinade.3. Grill chicken, covered, bone side down over indirect medium heat for 20 minutes. Turn; grill 20 – 30 minutes longer or until juices run clear.Nutritional Analysis: One chicken breast half equals 149 calories, 4g fat, 2g carbohydrate, and 25g protein.–

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