Best Places to Live

Arlington, VA

Population: 223,945
Photo courtesy of Crystal City BID

Nearly every resident of Arlington, Va., can access healthy foods and places to exercise. That’s a big reason why the city’s obesity rate hangs below 20 percent. What helped land Arlington on our list of the Top 10 Healthiest Cities was the high percentage of residents who engage in healthy behaviors like exercising regularly, carpooling to work, recycling, not smoking and drinking in moderation. Arlington's healthy status is one of the reasons it made out 2015 Best Places to Live list. 

Located across the Potomac River from Washington D.C., and home to The Pentagon, Arlington is filled with parks that offer great hikes, athletic fields, and leisurely strolls and private fitness centers offering yoga, Pilates, CrossFit and a variety of other workouts. Nearly all of Arlington's residents have access to exercise opportunities, and more than 86 percent engage in some form of physical activity on a regular basis. Health-care providers in Arlington provide excellent care, and roughly 83 percent of residents receive diabetic screenings. A high doctor-to-resident ratio ensures that getting into see someone about a health condition shouldn’t take long. Government leaders have strongly advocated for new development to occur near transit facilities, which has resulted in many residents utilizing the Metrorail system or walking and biking to work. This has helped maintain good air quality in Arlington. The EPA recognized Arlington’s efforts to protect the environment in 2002 with an award for “Smart Growth.”

Several farmers markets in Arlington provide residents with options to purchase organic and/or locally grown fruits and vegetables. A high concentration of ethnic restaurants provides diners with many choices when it comes to eating out. Kite Runner Cafe, which serves Middle Eastern food, and Sweetgreen are among the many restaurants in Arlington offering vegetarian dishes.

Arlington, VA Highlights

Healthy Choice: Go for a hike in Potomac Overlook Regional Park.
Health Alert: Use portion control at Pupatella, a hot spot for Italian food.