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Your Neighborhood Might Be Keeping You Slim… Or Making You Fat

People who live in older neighborhoods, those not designed around cars, tend to be slimmer than those in modern neighborhoods and suburbs. Your neighborhood might be making you fat.

I can completely understand this. Until last year, I used to live in a 1980s suburb in California, built for car-owners, where the only thing I could walk to was a gas station.

Now, after moving to the Midwest, I’m lucky to live in a great neighborhood built in the 1920s. The local historical society has a cute photo from the 1930s of a car driving down a local street, with two little boys looking at it like it had landed from space. I can walk to a couple of parks, the chemist, a supermarket, my son’s pediatrician, and a cool coffee shop with my son. If I’m feeling energetic I can push a stroller to two museums and walk along a river bank.

I’ve lost 10 lbs from the walking. It’s also wonderful to be able to set an active example to my son, I’m supporting local independent businesses, and I’ve saved money on gas… although spent it on lattes. Mama has to have caffeine!

I really appreciate my neighborhood. After living in year-round-sunshine California, it was a shock that frigid temperatures kept us indoors most of the winter. So this spring and summer, we’ve been out and taking advantage of our neighborhood.

You can find out the “Walk Score” of where you live on WalkScore.com (My house got a 74 out of 100, woo woo!) and while you can’t do much about the walkability of where you live right now, it might be useful if you are planning to move home any time soon.


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