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How's Your City Doing?

America's Top 10 Youngest and Oldest Cities 2014

Find out where residents have the healthiest and the unhealthiest RealAge.

1 / 21 How's Your City Doing?

Does your hometown keep you healthy and young, or is it aging you fast? That's what we aimed to find out in our 2014 Youngest and Oldest Cities list, Sharecare's annual report based on data from the RealAge® Test, the scientific assessment proven to accurately measure your body's true age. We analyzed results from over 600,000 people living in 50 major metropolitan areas, comparing data factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, exercise and more.
No matter your city rank, you don't have to relocate to lower your RealAge, says Keith Roach, MD, Sharecare Chief Medical Officer and co-creator of the RealAge Test. “Any person, no matter where they live, can take steps to optimize their health."
Youngest: #10 Sacramento, CA

2 / 21 Youngest: #10 Sacramento, CA

Sacramento is one of four California cities to make it on our youngest cities in America list. The state capital gets points for being a mecca for exercise, a factor that can lower a person's RealAge by up to three years. Residents also eat plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains, don't smoke and keep a positive attitude -- all factors that can help you live longer.
 

Related: Discover foods to fuel your workout.

Youngest: #9 Boston, MA

3 / 21 Youngest: #9 Boston, MA

Home of the Boston Marathon, the Boston Red Sox and Harvard University, Boston and the greater Boston area placed ninth on our list. Despite falling five spots since last year, Boston ranks among the top 10 for insurance coverage, employment and income. Bostonians also eat a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and go easy on red meat. "People with healthier diets have lower cholesterol and improved blood pressure," says Dr. Roach.
 
Youngest: #8 Los Angeles, CA

4 / 21 Youngest: #8 Los Angeles, CA

The City of Angels inched its way closer to being the youngest city in America this year, moving from tenth to eighth. Residents maintain plenty of heart-healthy habits, such as not smoking, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, exercising and taking daily aspirin. "Aspirin becomes important particularly in older people. A man with a RealAge of 45 and a woman with a RealAge of 55 should probably be on aspirin to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke," Roach says. "But we don't recommend starting an aspirin regimen without talking to your doctor first."

Youngest: #7 Hartford, CT

5 / 21 Youngest: #7 Hartford, CT

Connecticut's state capital moved up two spots on our list this year. This wealthy New England city is the best in the country for not overeating red meat and getting enough sleep; residents here also score points for having good blood pressure. Nicknamed The Insurance Capital of the World, it's no surprise Hartford comes in second for insurance coverage. That's a real plus: Having health insurance – which of course makes seeing a doctor easier when you need one -- can make a person's RealAge as much as 2.2 years younger. 
Youngest: #6 Washington, D.C

6 / 21 Youngest: #6 Washington, D.C

The nation's capital moved up the ranks one spot this year, coming in at number six. Washington-Baltimore ranks second best for income and employment and seventh for health insurance. That means residents have enough financial resources to keep their health in tip-top shape. Surprisingly, residents here get adequate sleep and don't let their jobs stress them out. Washington D.C. also ranks high for eating fruits and vegetables and for not smoking.
 
Youngest: #5 Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

7 / 21 Youngest: #5 Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Residents of this Midwestern metropolis certainly know how to stay young and healthy. Minneapolis-St. Paul is the best in the country for nutrition, not stressing out, eating the most whole grains and having good blood pressure. Despite its brutal winters, the Twin Cities is also in the top 10 for getting enough vitamin D, a.k. a. the sunshine vitamin. And they exercise. "Even though it's cold, people who live in Minneapolis are out and about a lot," Roach says. 
 
Youngest: #4 Denver, CO

8 / 21 Youngest: #4 Denver, CO

The Mile High City is our fourth-youngest city in America, moving up one spot from last year. Denver and its neighboring city, Boulder, together rank number one nationally for optimism and exercise. "Places like Colorado tend to have access to all different kinds of terrain and good weather, which makes exercising easier," says Roach. All that hiking, biking and skiing probably helps the Denver-Boulder area rank as the second-best place to dodge high blood pressure, and the third-best for avoiding diabetes and high cholesterol.
 
Youngest: #3 San Diego, CA

9 / 21 Youngest: #3 San Diego, CA

Nearly year-round perfect weather helps make America's Finest City number three for a third year in a row. San Diego is one of the best cities for exercise, which may help explain why residents here have the lowest rates of diabetes in the country. All that sunshine and the laid-back SoCal culture could also help explain why San Diegans are some of the most optimistic and least stressed people in America. Having a positive attitude could help residents keep their blood pressure levels in check, too.
 
Youngest: #2 Salt Lake City, UT

10 / 21 Youngest: #2 Salt Lake City, UT

Two factors in particular help earn Salt Lake City-Ogden the second-youngest RealAge in America for a third year in a row: The region scores number one in the country for not smoking "The most important thing you can do for your health is to quit smoking," says Roach. SLC is also the second-best city for happy marriages, a factor that can help lower a person's risk of heart disease and even cancer. More of Salt Lakers' healthy habits: eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising and having strong social ties. One area where these residents can improve: Cholesterol. SLC has the 10th worst cholesterol rates in the country.
 
Youngest: #1 San Francisco, CA

11 / 21 Youngest: #1 San Francisco, CA

Bay Area residents really know what it takes to stay young and healthy. Metro San Francisco takes the top spot as the youngest city in America for a third year in a row. Residents here rank first for eating lots of fruits and vegetables and second for overall good nutrition. They're also the second best in the nation for not smoking (after all, smoking bans started in California) and for exercise. No wonder residents have some of the best blood pressure and cholesterol rates in the country.
 
 
Next: Top Oldest Cities
Oldest: #10 Nashville, TN

12 / 21 Oldest: #10 Nashville, TN

We wonder if people in Music City, USA are too busy singing to hit the gym. Nashville is our tenth-oldest city this year, thanks to one of the lowest exercise rates in the nation. Heavy smoking and unhealthy diets are also aging these Southern crooners too fast: Nashvillians eat fewer fruits, veggies and whole grain than almost anyone else in the country. But Nashville is hitting all the right notes on relationships: It's one of our 2013 10 Best Cities for strong social ties.
 
Oldest: #9 Columbus, OH

13 / 21 Oldest: #9 Columbus, OH

Columbus had been holding its own on the Youngest Cities list for years, thanks to high scores for eating a nutritious diet. But 2014 saw a 14-point drop in healthy eating for this Ohio city. Strong social ties also took a major hit in Columbus this year. It dropped from 10th to 47th, and that means residents face higher stress risks. Also aging these Midwesterners too fast: Women in Columbus report some of the lowest rates of optimism and both women and men here say they’re not sexually satisfied.
 
Oldest: #8 Las Vegas, NV

14 / 21 Oldest: #8 Las Vegas, NV

Sin City is holding on to the number eight spot for a second year.  Maybe that's because residents are still not getting enough sleep.  Skimping on rest increases risks for heart disease and obesity, but regular sound sleep can make your RealAge as much as 1.5 years younger.  Las Vegans are also facing plenty of stress, struggling with low employment levels and lack of insurance coverage. Another problem: Residents tend to have weak social support networks, which makes it harder to manage stress. One of the most effective ways to cope in tough times is talking things over with close friends or family, Roach says.

What's stealing your rest? Take our Sleep Health Assessment.
Oldest: #7 St. Louis, MO

15 / 21 Oldest: #7 St. Louis, MO

So what's making The Gateway to the West America's seventh-oldest city? Aspirin use is lower in St. Louis than any other major city.  Taking aspirin is a proven cardiac protector, and while Dr. Roach says not to start taking it without your doctor's okay, it could help folks in this Midwestern city overcome the damage caused by high cholesterol and blood pressure. Some of the nation's biggest overeaters are chowing down here. Maybe it's too much of the famous gooey buttercake -- or the St. Louis style ribs: This Missouri city ranked number two in 2013's Cities that Love Red Meat – Too Much.
 
Oldest: #6 Cincinnati, OH

16 / 21 Oldest: #6 Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati dropped a whopping eight points this year to land on our oldest cities list. One major factor linked to aging too fast in this Ohio city: Poor mouth health. Two things age your smile: If you’ve lost more than a few teeth, your heart disease risks are sky high, and a dry mouth leads to tooth loss. Another downward spiral in Cincy: Happy marriage rates went from number one to 17th.  When it comes to living younger, relationships matter: A solid union can lower RealAge up to 4.2 years for men and 2.5 years for women.
 
Oldest: #5 Greensboro, NC

17 / 21 Oldest: #5 Greensboro, NC

Greensboro has higher rates of hypertension and diabetes than any other city on our list, and both are major agers. Another factor keeping this North Carolina city old: Men in Greensboro rank highest for alcohol use. Drinking in moderation – no more than two drinks a day for men and just one for women – can actually lower your real age. But overdoing it can put your health at risk. There's one thing keeping the women in Greensboro young: They report higher sexual satisfaction than most other gals around.
 
Oldest: #4 Tampa, FL

18 / 21 Oldest: #4 Tampa, FL

Tampa is one of the nation's best outdoor cities, with plenty of Florida sunshine, the famous Tampa Bay, a major river and even pro sports teams. Even with all this in the plus column, people in the greater Tampa area are more likely to face unemployment, lack insurance and have lower incomes. All that increases stress, which lands Tampa in the fourth-oldest city slot.  Still, folks in Tampa are doing something right: They've got some of the lowest C-reactive protein levels around. High levels can signal inflammation in the body and translates to higher heart attack and stroke risks. If you need to lower this number, try this heart-healthy snack.
Oldest: #3 Greenville, SC

19 / 21 Oldest: #3 Greenville, SC

This southern city took a big tumble this year, falling four spots to land as our third-oldest city. One reason: For the second year, Greenville residents reported higher stress than any other population in the country. Making healthier food and drink choices might help: Women in Greenville reported higher alcohol use than other cities. One strong factor is keeping balance in Greenville: It ranked third in the country for happy marriages, last year, and has the lowest divorce rate in the South.
 
Oldest: #2 Louisville, KY

20 / 21 Oldest: #2 Louisville, KY

High stress and anger rates are keeping Kentucky's largest city near the bottom of the list. Excess stress increases heart disease risks and ages the cardiovascular system, according to Roach. The home of the Kentucky Derby finished last in 2013, but this year's bump up could be credited to healthier diet choices. That's right, the birthplace of KFC is now focusing more on whole grains and getting more sleep. But low vitamin D levels and exercise rates, along with increased smoking means residents are still aging too fast.
 
Oldest: #1 Knoxville, TN

21 / 21 Oldest: #1 Knoxville, TN

This Tennessee city rebounded nicely last year after being named our oldest city in 2012, but this year Knoxville plummeted 22 points to become 2014's Oldest City in America. Smoking rates in Knoxville have skyrocketed over the last year, and nothing ages you faster than lighting up. "Whenever we see a city's smoking rate increase, we see its RealAge increase," says Roach. On the plus side, embracing service can help keep you young: Knoxville ranked number one for strong social and emotional connections.
 
 

Wellness

Wellness

Wellness is a difficult word to define. Traditionally wellness has meant the opposite of illness and the absence of disease and disability. More recently wellness has come to describe something that you have personal control over. ...

Wellness is now a word used to describe living the best possible life you can regardless of whether you have a disease or disability. Your wellness is not only related to your physical health, but is a combination of things including spiritual wellness, social wellness, mental wellness and emotional wellness. Wellness is seen as a combination of mind, body and spirit. Different people may have different ideas about wellness. There is no single set standard for wellness and wellness is a difficult thing to quantify.
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