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Why is everybody in Miami so hot? Because we’re all about that fit life, survey says

We turn playgrounds into gyms in Miami.
We turn playgrounds into gyms in Miami.

According to a new survey, Miami ranks sixth on a list of “The Best Cities for Health and Fitness.”

The survey, by LifeStorage, a self storage company and real estate investment trust based in Williamsville, New York, ranked U.S. cities where you can best live a health lifestyle.

The survey tapped Yelp data to rank the cities that had the most (and least) options “for those who care about health,” such as the availability of nutritionists, gyms, hiking trails and parks, healthy eating options, vegan/vegetarian restaurants, farmer’s markets and juice bars.

Of course, this isn’t scientific.

Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville made the overall 53-position “Best Cities for Health Nuts in 2019” list. South Beach and Fort Lauderdale do not appear by name.

But that’s because Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale and other South Florida cities were grouped into “Miami,” as one “metropolitan statistical area,” a spokeswoman for Life Storage said.

Why Miami?

“Overall Miami had a wide variety of restaurants with an emphasis on serving healthy food that give residents who have dietary restrictions or an interest in following the latest health food trends, plenty of options,” said Devon Cameron of Life Storage.

“They also had a high concentration of gyms that shows how prevalent the health and wellness lifestyle is in Miami overall,” he said.

Healthy eating options

Raw Republic juices
Raw Republic in Aventura wants you to keep your eating clean. Raw Republic via Facebook

The city’s highest accolade was a No. 4 ranking among cities with the most healthy eating options.

The survey found Miami had 761 choices in this regard, behind No. 1 New York (where almost everyone walks because who wants to ride the subways?) that had 2,479 healthy eating options. Los Angeles (2,352)) and San Diego (838) also topped Miami — and we were one position ahead of Houston (687) on that particular list.

Hartford, Connecticut was deemed the worst city for healthy eating options with just 52 choices according to this survey.

Miami also scored fourth on the list of the cities with the most juice bars (499) behind New York (1,496) and L.A. (1,404) again, and Houston leap-frogged us there with 16 more juice bars — or 515 — than Miami.

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Cities with the most gyms

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We turn playgrounds into gyms in Miami.

Surprisingly, South Florida didn’t rule in this category, either.

Miami had 630 gym options, according to Yelp’s data, which puts us well behind New York’s 2,146 and L.A.’s 1,617.

But we beat Orlando and its 390 gym options. Tampa boasts 508 gym options, according to the survey. Jacksonville has 213.

Hartford, Connecticut, once again, came up short with the fewest gyms — just 67.

The most nutritionists

Burri28 Vegan Gal Hmg.JPG
You need someone to point to this and say ‘go ahead and eat it.’ That is a nutrionist. Hector Gabino El Nuevo Herald File

Need help figuring out how to read food labels or how to order healthier at a restaurant? The Life Storage survey numbers 272 nutritionist options in Miami. There’s 200 in Tampa, 136 in Orlando and 73 in Jacksonville. L.A. was best (1,453) and Memphis was the worst (25).

Hiking trails and parks

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This is part of what we call ‘gatorcizing.’ You burn a solid 500 calories when this thing runs after you. Max Reed Miami Herald File

Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville kicked butt on Memphis, Hartford, Birmingham, Providence and Grand Rapids in the hiking trails and parks options category. Miami was best of Florida with its 488 surveyed hiking trails and parks.

San Jose made the top 5 (with 926) behind L.A. at No. 1 (with 1,721).

But do these hiking trails let you commune with alligators like Florida’s do? You can burn a lot of calories running away from the critters in these parts.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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