RealAge's 2012 Top 10 Cities in America for Staying Young and Aging Too Fast
Ready to live your life to the youngest? Head for San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, or Austin, TX. All earned top spots on RealAge's 2012 list of 25 Best Cities for Staying Young. The following top 10 metro areas enjoy such healthy lifestyles that on average their residents have a RealAge at least 2 years younger than their calendar age -- and many are years younger than that. Follow their lead (pssst, avoid the worst habits of the Top 25 Cities for Aging Too Fast, too) and you'll live longer without leaving your hometown.
Making RealAge's Top 10 is like winning an Academy Award and the Super Bowl -- it's that tough! RealAge analyzed data from America's 50 largest metropolitan areas. Its source: results from some of the 28 million people who've taken the RealAge test, which Dr. Mike pioneered. This free health assessment combines the latest scientific research with your lifestyle and health history to calculate your RealAge (i.e., how old your body actually is compared to your calendar age.) Plus, youll get a list of action plans to help you become younger. Take the RealAge Test to find out the rate of your aging.
The results for the cities? Drum roll, please:
|RealAge's Top 10 Cities for
|RealAge's Top 10 Cities for
Aging Too Fast
|1. San Francisco, CA||1. Knoxville, TN|
|2. Salt Lake City, UT||2. Louisville, KY|
|3. San Diego, CA||3. Memphis, TN|
|4. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||4. Oklahoma City, OK|
|5. Denver, CO||5. Indianapolis, IN|
|6. Raleigh, NC||6. Greensboro, NC|
|7. Boston, MA||7. Nashville, TN|
|8. Austin, TX||8. Greenville, SC|
|9. Washington, D.C./Baltimore||9. Cincinnati, OH|
|10. Los Angeles, CA||10. Columbus, OH|
What traits separate the residents of the best cities for staying young from residents of aging-too-fast cities? We looked closely at 22 factors that slow or speed aging -- from diet and exercise to optimism and smoking -- and discovered some surprises. (Note for you statisticians: We adjusted the data for age, so areas with lots of retirees weren't penalized and college towns didn't get an edge.)
Happy marriages and low smoking rates contributed to Salt Lake City ranking No. 2.
The benefits of great health insurance (credit Massachusetts's healthcare reform) and healthy sleep habits helped Boston into seventh place.
A trifecta of troubles -- extremely high rates of diabetes, high LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure -- pushed Louisville and Memphis to the bottom.
Knoxville's last-place finish (yep, again) was due to bottom-10 positions for those health risks plus a last-place finish for exercise.
Among your most important stay-young factors:
- Better blood pressure. Minneapolis had the nation's best blood pressure levels. Knoxville came in last. Keeping yours at 110/75 makes your RealAge up to 8.9 years younger. Eat these healthy foods to lower blood pressure.
- A joyful marriage. Wedded bliss extends your warranty, making men's RealAge 4.2 years younger; women's, 2.5 years younger. Raleigh and Minneapolis are great places to enjoy marriage. Try these tricks for a happy marriage.
- Vitamin D3 consumption. This major nutritional anti-ager protects against brittle bones, heart attacks, strokes and some cancers. Some of the best cities for staying young are far north, including Boston, Minneapolis and Seattle (14th youngest, but No. 1 for D3). Despite not getting enough sunshine to activate their skin's D3 factory, people in those places clearly take their vitamin D3 supplements! We hope you do, too (1,000 IU a day, 1,200 after age 60). Getting enough D3 can make your RealAge 2.5 years younger. Find out how vitamin D3 could also knock out flu, colds, obesity and more.
- Less sitting, more moving. Nine of the 10 cities aging too fast are among the least physically active. By comparison, eight of the 10 cities staying young are the most active. Regular exercise makes your RealAge almost 3 years younger. Break out of a sedentary lifestyle at work by doing this.
- Not lighting up. The top three cities for staying young had the lowest smoking rates. Enough said. Start here to quit smoking.
- Fulfilling sex. Satisfaction between the sheets also makes your RealAge younger. It gave men in San Diego a real advantage (Knoxville women, too, though obviously not enough of one). Find out why you're never too old for great sex.
The take-home lesson? While we've all got room for improvement, we've also all got health strengths that let us live younger than our years. It's really quite simple: You really can get younger -- maybe even look as much younger than your RealAge as Madonna or George Clooney. Here's an inexpensive way to look younger fast.