The Fittest U.S. Cities for Baby Boomers

Daily Health Solutions, Featured Article, Fitness, Healthy Living, Healthy Travel
on September 17, 2012
The Head Lighthouse in Portland Maine, one of the fittest cities for baby boomers.

Portland, Maine. No matter the season, this city on Casco Bay provides endless ways for boomers to work out and enjoy the scenery along the way. Explore the 200-plus islands of Casco Bay (try the Peaks Island Loop, a paved, 4-mile trail that circles Peak Island), stroll the 3.5-mile Black Cove Trail, with views of the downtown skyline, or discover the rocky coast up close as you kayak the bay. And those are just the fair-weather sport options. Winter provides snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, with ski towns boasting perfect powder a short drive away.

Tampa, Fla. As you might expect, water sports are king here. Sport fishing for tarpon in the Gulf, canoeing the picturesque Hillsborough River, stand up paddle board yoga in Tampa Bay, and kayaking and swimming off nearby white sand beaches, are just some ways Tampians work out on the water. On land, the city offers golf galore and miles of paths and trails: Bayshore Boulevard along the bay; Lettuce Lake Park, where shady boardwalks through cypress swamps offer bird, gator, and turtle sightings; and the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve, a 16,000-acre mega park where boomers can bike on and off road, inline skate, and hike for miles.

Virginia Beach, Va. Ranked number 11 in the 2012 American Fitness Index (AFI), Virginia Beach boasts 28 miles of beachfront, 18,000 acres of parks, and more golf courses and tennis courts on average per capita. Stroll along the 3-mile beachfront boardwalk, or bike more than 100 miles of trails including several on False Cape, a mile-wide sand spit that’s home to wild ponies, foxes and pigs. And kayaking is big here, thanks to more than 121 miles of waterways. Try the tranquil, bird-filled marshes of Back Bay, or a paddle with dolphins in the Atlantic.

Boulder, Colo. A perennial placeholder on “fittest” lists, Boulder isn’t just an active paradise for 20- and 30-somethings. Set in the foothills of Rocky Mountain National Park, Boulder offers just about everything an active boomer could want. Within 100 miles of some of the country’s best ski resorts, Boulderites have access to top-notch snowshoeing and downhill and cross-country skiing. In the warmer months, head out for a hike in Eldorado Canyon’s Fowler Trail or the close-to-town Alice White Trail or Boulder Creek Path, which locals say gets snow plowed before the roads do. Or dust off the bicycle for a ride on Boulder’s well-maintained greenways.

San Diego, Calif. With an average temperature of 70.5 degrees and little rain, San Diego is a natual setting for enjoying the outdoors. Walking and running comes easy, whether it’s through neighborhood streets or on one of the city’s scenic pathways. Try the San Diego Bay Shore, the Bayside Trail in Cabrillo National Monument, Balboa Park and Torrey Pines. If you want to learn a new skill on the water, visit the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, where you can learn to surf, row, dive and more.

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