In honor of National Physical Therapy Month and as part of the “Fit After 50” campaign, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and MoveForwardPT.com partnered with Huff/Post50 to determine the “Top 10 Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America.” They collected data on the 50 largest metro areas of the US and identified the top 10 cities best suited for people aged 50 and older who want to live in environments that promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Congratulations to San Diego! The city has been named #9 on the list of Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America.
San Diego achieved a health and fitness score above the 80th percentile and a lifestyle score above the 60th percentile, proving itself one of the best cities for healthy, active older adults. Here are some important facts the research discovered about Silicon Beach:
- The percentage of Boomers with health insurance is 89.3.
- Diagnosed cases of hypertension (approximately 49.6%) are 3.2% lower than the average for all 50 cities reviewed.
- The percentage of diagnosed cases of high cholesterol among Boomers is 50.5%, the second highest rate of the top 10 cities.
- Among the top 10 cities, San Diego has the most sports retailers per 100,000 people, the most sports equipment retailers per 1,000 people, and most park acres per 1,000 people.
- The number of diagnosed cases of cardiac disease is 3.6% lower than the 3.87% average for all 50 cities researched.
APTA member Nancy Krueger, PT, DPT, CHT, OCS, a local physical therapist and founder of El Cajon Therapy Associates, wasn’t surprised her city made the top 10 list.
"There's no question that when it comes to Boomer health, San Diego is one of the leading cities in the US," said Krueger. "Boomers are transforming how we traditionally think of aging by staying mobile, and physical therapists are helping them do that. With San Diego leading the top cities in sports retailers and park sizes, Boomers in the city are encouraged to stay active." Krueger also wants Boomers to remember that staying active can help improve cholesterol levels.
Krueger recommends San Diego Boomers continue to focus on fitness and exercise and talk to a physical therapist if they have any questions or concerns. Here are some tips:
- Regular physical activity can improve bone density, posture, heart and lung function, muscle strength, joint function, sleep, and memory, among many other things. In addition, getting toned often gives you a more youthful appearance.
- Sticking with a physical activity plan lowers your risk for certain health conditions, such as fractures, falls, depression, certain cancers, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Physical therapists support national guidelines, which recommend that you make aerobic, strengthening, flexibility, and balance activities regular components of your physical activity program. MoveForwardPT.com has more tips on staying active, fit, and healthy; to learn which exercises are right for you and your lifestyle; and to find a physical therapist near you.
- In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, you can make an appointment to be evaluated by a physical therapist directly, without a physician referral.
Congratulations, San Diego!