Fitness Articles

Slim in the City

Make Your Urban Lifestyle a Healthy One

Pro: Cities are home to great food and restaurants.
Use it to Your Advantage: "Great" need not be synonymous with heavy, greasy, or fattening. Plenty of chefs experiment with light, flavorful, and healthful food.
  • Search out new "healthy" restaurants in your area. You'll find that these days, many restaurants think of light cooking as the rule, not the exception.
  • Cities tend to be melting pots, with plenty of cuisines that are good for you and delicious, including sushi (watch the sodium-laden soy sauce and ask for brown rice), Vietnamese (try a big bowl of pho, a noodle soup with plenty of vegetables), or Korean (but go easy on the greasy barbecued meats). Try out new ethnic cuisines (use our Dining Out Guide for tips) instead of going to your favorite burger joint or pizzeria.
Con: Street vendors peddle unhealthy eats.
Make it work: In many cities, hot dogs, oversized pretzels and pizza lurk around every corner.
  • Go for the lesser evil. If you must eat "street meat," choose a corn dog, which contains a modest 250 calories and 15 grams of fat (without any trimmings). The protein and fat will help keep you feeling full longer than a quick-digesting soft pretzel, for example.
  • Follow the Boy Scouts' advice: Be prepared. To ward off the temptation, carry granola bars, apples, bananas or other "portable" food. If you didn't plan ahead, stop at a corner store for fruit, a small bag of hard pretzels or a package of nuts. These also make good additions to otherwise unhealthy meals (like corn dogs), adding a little more nutrition and fiber to round out your meal.
Pro: City dwellers tend to walk 15-30 minutes more than non city dwellers do each day.
Use it to Your Advantage: Make the most of those minutes, especially if it's the only exercise you get each day.
  • Wear comfy shoes and stash the stilettos or wingtips during your commute so you can maintain a brisk, heart-pumping pace while decreasing your risk of injury or other discomforts.
  • Get off the train, bus or subway a few blocks early to add a few more blocks on to your total. Forgo taxis, and you'll save money in addition to doing your heart a favor. Even if you work in a high rise, you can still take some stairs. Get off the elevator a few floors early—better yet, take the stairs in the lobby to avoid the crowds at the elevator and hop on it a few floors up. Continued ›
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

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