Though the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in widespread fitness center closures, many Americans still want to stay as healthy as possible. Depending on the level of services and equipment required, staying active can affect peopleâs budgets in a variety of ways. For now, virtual exercise classes and home gyms are the route most people are taking. Eventually, though, gyms will reopen at full capacity, and everyone will be able to reestablish his or her normal workout routine. When that happens, some places will be more conducive to jumping into a full-on fitness frenzy, and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find where they are.
To locate the most fitness-friendly places for 2021, we compared 301 metropolitan areas across the following metrics: percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, fitness professionals per 10,000 workers, fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments, the percentage of restaurants that are fast-food establishments and the average wage of personal trainers. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAssetâs seventh annual study on the most fitness-friendly places in the U.S. Read the previous version here.
- Western and Midwestern metro areas populate the top. For the second straight year, cities in the Midwest and West dominate the top 10 of this list. Six metro areas are in the West and three are in the Midwest. Western metro areas do well in terms of fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments â all rank within the top 8% of study for this metric â and they also rank within the top 14% of the study for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work. Only one metro area in the top 10 is not in either of these regions â Ithaca, New York.
- Fitness-friendly cities are light on the drive-thrus. On average, across the 301 metro areas in our study, fast-food establishments represent 45% of all restaurants. Though fast food is popular, convenient and inexpensive, it tends to be relatively high in calories and low in nutritional value â making it tougher to be healthy if you eat a lot of it, regardless of your exercise levels. In the top 10 of this study, all but three metro areas have fewer than 40% of their restaurants serving fast food, so there is less temptation to go for an easy-but-unhealthy meal that can ruin all your hard work. The metro area with the lowest percentage of restaurants that are fast food is Wenatchee, Washington, where it is just 27%.
1. Missoula, MT
The Missoula, Montana metro area is the most fitness-friendly place in the U.S. for 2021. There are 131 fitness establishments â including places like gyms and sporting goods stores â per 10,000 total establishments in Missoula, the third-highest rate for this metric in the study. There are also plenty of fitness professionals living in Missoula, 59 per 10,000 workers, placing it sixth-best for this metric. Residents in Missoula also get plenty of exercise simply by walking or biking to work: 7.1% of residents choose to do so, the 17th-highest rate for this metric across the 301 areas we studied.
2. La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN
The La Crosse, Wisconsin metro area, which also includes parts of Minnesota, has 130 fitness establishments for every 10,000 total establishments, the fourth-highest rate for this metric. The metro area finishes in the top quartile for three other metrics as well, ranking 28th for fitness professionals per 10,000 workers (with 42), 33rd for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (at 5.2%) and 64th for the percentage of restaurants that are fast-food establishments (around 39%).
3. Bend, OR
The Bend, Oregon metro area cracks the top 10 for two of our metrics. It places fourth in terms of fitness professionals per 10,000 workers with 61, and seventh for fitness establishments per 10,0000 total establishments, at 116. Bend can be a bit pricey of a place to stay in shape, though. The average hourly wage of personal trainers is $18.72, placing Bend at 176th out of 301 for this metric.
4. Ann Arbor, MI
There are 67 fitness professionals per 10,000 workers in the Ann Arbor, Michigan metro area, the second-highest rate for this metric of the 301 metro areas we analyzed. For their commutes, 7.4% of residents walk or bike to work, the 15th-highest percentage in this study. There are also plenty of fitness establishments in the metro area if you prefer to work out in a dedicated space: At 112 per 10,000 residents, this is the 10th-highest rate of the 301 places we analyzed.
5. Bloomington, IN
Folks in the Bloomington, Indiana metro area might have more of an opportunity to get a workout in during their commute, with 8.0% of residents walking or biking to work, the eighth-highest rate in the study for this metric. Bloomington has two other metrics for which it finishes in the top fifth of the 301 metro areas of the study â fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments (ranking 48th-highest, with 93) and average wage of personal trainers (ranking 49th-lowest, which makes it cheaper for the consumer, at $14.53).
6. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
The metro area around Santa Cruz, California finishes ninth overall for its relatively low percentage of restaurants that specialize in fast food, at 33%. Santa Cruz also comes in 12th for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, at 7.5%. If youâre looking for help getting in shape, though, itâll cost you. The average wage of a personal trainer in the area is a steep $20.59, ranking in the bottom third of this study.
7. Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, Arizona has the third highest percentage of residents who walk or bike to work we saw in this study, at 11.5%. There are also 109 fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments, the 14th-highest rate we observed. Flagstaff is hurt, though, by its price: The average wage of a personal trainer in this metro area is $22.27, in the bottom sixth of this study.
8. Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins is the first of two metro areas in Colorado to rank in the top 10 of this study, and it gets there on the strength of having 113 fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments, ranking ninth of 301 metro areas for this metric. It also scores in the top 15% of the study for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work (5.2%) and fitness professionals per 10,000 workers (46).
9. Boulder, CO
Boulder is the second Colorado metro area in the top 10, and it has two metrics for which it finishes in the top 15 out of 301 in the study overall. It comes in 11th for fitness professionals per 10,000 workers, at 53, and 12th for the percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, at 7.5%. Its final ranking is dragged down a bit due to its bottom-10 finish for the average hourly wage for personal trainers, at a pricey $27.25. However, it still ranks in the top 20 of the study for fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments, at 105.
10. Ithaca, NY
A whopping 14.5% of residents of Ithaca, New York walk or bike to work, the second-highest percentage in this study for this metric. Ithaca finishes eighth in terms of fitness establishments per 10,000 total establishments with 114. It is very expensive to get help with fitness in Ithaca, though. The average hourly wage for a personal trainer is $29.30, finishing third-worst out of 301 metro areas in this study for its high cost.
Data and Methodology
To find the most fitness-friendly places in the country for 2021, we examined data for 301 metro areas across the following five metrics:
- Percentage of residents who walk or bike to work. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
- Concentration of fitness professionals. This is the number of fitness professionals per 10,000 workers. Our list of fitness professionals includes dietitians and nutritionists, recreational therapists, athletic trainers as well as fitness trainers and aerobics instructors. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics and is for May 2019.
- Concentration of fitness establishments. This is the number of fitness establishments per 10,000 establishments. Our list of fitness establishments includes sporting goods stores and fitness and recreational sports centers. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.
- Concentration of fast-food restaurants. This is the percentage of restaurants that are limited-service establishments. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Metro Area Business Patterns Survey.
- Average hourly wage of personal trainers. Given the limited availability of direct data about the cost to consumers for personal training services, this metric acts as a proxy to indicate the relative affordability of hiring a personal trainer in a given metro area. Data comes from the BLS and is for May 2019.
First, we ranked each metro area in each metric. Then we found each placeâs average ranking, giving all metrics a full weight except for concentration of fast-food restaurants and average hourly wage of personal trainers, each of which received a half weight. Using this average ranking, we created our final score. The metro area with the highest average ranking received a score of 100, and the metro area with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.
Tips for a Fit and Financially Secure Life
- Find the right financial fit. No matter what your fitness goals are, financially you want to make sure you are secure, and a financial advisor can help. Finding the right financial advisor doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Consider the health of your budget. If you live somewhere where fitness is expensive, make a budget so that you can work the price into your monthly spending.
- Making bigger money moves? If youâre considering moving to one of the places we listed above, use SmartAssetâs tool to find out how much house you can afford before you make the big move.
Questions about our study? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The post Most Fitness-Friendly Places for 2021 appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
Things To Do While Stuck In Your Apartment During the Coronavirus Pandemic
By now, almost everyone in the country is under some kind of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders from government agencies due to the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities stress that this is the main way to try to flatten the curve of new infections.
OK, so what can you do while cooped up in your apartment.Â The options arenât quite unlimited, but they are numerous. Take advantage of the space you have and undertake any activity that will be good for your mental or physical well-being. Hereâs a look at some of the most popular:
1. Do a jigsaw puzzle
This has become quite popular around the country, with people finishing a jigsaw puzzle and then posting a picture of it on social media. The more pieces, the better, say, 1,000 or more. How long youâll be able to do this to remain occupied depends on how many puzzles you have on hand, or how many times youâre willing to do the same puzzle over again.
If you donât have jigsaw puzzles, maybe you have a Rubikâs Cube or a book of crossword puzzles. You can also find crossword puzzles online and in your daily newspaper, if you still subscribe.
If you have a set of weights in your apartment, use them. Or maybe youâre a packrat and still have exercise routines on VHS tapes or DVDs. If not, there are plenty of routines you can find for free online.Â
If you can leave your apartment, go for a walk or a jog, as long as you observe the social distancing rules that are now the new normal. If you donât want to go outside, walk up and down a stairwell or walk up and down your hallway. Again, give others their personal space.
Short of that, you can go old-school and do crunches, sit-ups and push-ups on your floor. You can also do isometric exercises using a rolled-up bath towel. For a refresher on the techniques, check out these workouts you can do in your apartment and then get to work.Â
Whatever you chose, mix it up and keep it fresh as you stay in shape.Â
OK, the first two suggestions will put your mind and body to work. At some point youâll feel like being a couch potato, so why not catch up on a series youâve been meaning to watch on Netflix, Disney Plus or one of the many streaming services available? Youâve never had a better excuse than now.Â
âTiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madnessâ has become all the rage on Netflix. It was released in mid-March and has given people something to do in the age of coronavirus. It is a true-crime documentary television series about the life of former zoo operator Joseph Maldonado-Passage.
If thatâs not your thing, there are favorites such as âNarcos: Mexicoâ and âStranger Thingsâ on Netflix. If youâve already seen them, whatâs the harm in starting over? On Disney Plus you can watch âThe Mandalorian,â âStar Wars: The Clone Warsâ and âThe Simpsons.â
4. Spring cleaning
Itâs spring, and you have a lot of unexpected time on your hands. Nowâs a great time to get in some spring cleaning of your apartment. Cut through the clutter and organize your closet and dresser. Most importantly, regularly clean and disinfect important areas such as kitchen surfaces and appliances that are used often. You should also keep your bathroom clean.Â
5. Other stuff
There are plenty of other things you can be doing, such as catching up on your reading, playing a musical instrument, writing emails to friends and family and getting plenty of rest.
Read Things To Do While You’re Stuck In Your Apartment on Apartminty.
According to Census data, more than 17% of American households earn between $50,000 and $74,999, making it the income bracket comprising the highest number of people. This large cohort may not be among the most handsomely paid in the U.S., but strategically living in a place with robust employment opportunities and a lower cost of living can help Americans stretch their dollar further and enable them to sock away ample savings. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best cities in America for those with an annual income of $60,000, the sweet-spot of this range.
To find the best cities in America to live on a $60,000 salary, we compared 97 cities (all with a population of at least 60,000 and a median household income of between $55,000 and $65,000) across the following nine metrics: median household income, median monthly housing costs, housing costs as a percentage of a $60,000 income, entertainment establishments per 10,000 residents, civic establishments per 10,000 residents, percentage of people without health insurance, average commute time, unemployment rate and poverty rate. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAssetâs second annual study on the best places to live on a $60,000 salary. Read the 2019 version here.
- Smaller cities â especially in the Midwest â rank highly. It probably comes as no shock that big cities arenât making the cut here. Real estate and cost of living are just too expensive in big cities, and especially on the coasts. For true value, look to places a bit off the beaten path. Eight of our top 10 cities (all except Omaha, Nebraska and Lexington, Kentucky) have fewer than 300,000 people. Additionally, eight of our top 10 cities (all except Billings, Montana and Lexington, Kentucky) are located in the Midwest.
- Under one grand. All but one of the top 10 cities in our study (Omaha, Nebraska) have median housing costs of less than $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year, representing less than 20% a $60,000 income.
1. Sioux Falls, SD
The best city to live in on a $60,000 salary is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, according to the data we analyzed. Sioux Falls comes in sixth overall for two of our nine metrics: average commute time (17.4 minutes) and poverty rate (8.6%). It also comes in eighth for three other metrics: entertainment establishments (8.75 per 10,000 residents), civic establishments (13.00 per 10,000 residents) and July 2020 unemployment rate (5.8%).
2. Billings, MT
Billings, Montana has 13.08 civic institutions per 10,000 residents (the seventh-highest rate for this metric in the study) and 10.48 entertainment establishments per 10,000 residents (the sixth-highest rate in the study). Only 4.4% of the population in Billings is without health insurance â the sixth-lowest rate for this metric across all 97 cities we analyzed.
3. Lincoln, NE
Lincoln, Nebraska had an unemployment rate of just 5.0% in July 2020, the second-lowest ranking overall for this metric. Lincoln has 13.26 civic establishments per 10,000 residents, sixth-highest in the study. The city places 10th overall for average commute time, with the average person going from home to work in 18.4 minutes.
4. Eau Claire, WI
Eau Claire, Wisconsin has an average commute time of just 15.1 minutes, ranking second-shortest in the study. The city places eighth for two other metrics: median monthly housing costs ($915) and housing costs as a percentage of a $60,000 income (18.30%).
5. Wyoming, MI
Wyoming, Michigan has a poverty rate of just 8.5%, ranking fifth-best across all 97 cities we studied. Wyoming places fourth in two separate metrics related to housing costs: median monthly housing costs ($880) and median housing costs as a percentage of a $60,000 income (17.60%). There are 12.01 civic establishments per 10,000 residents, ninth-highest overall.
6. Appleton, WI
The July 2020 unemployment rate in Appleton, Wisconsin was 6.1%, 10th-lowest of the 97 cities for which we considered data. Appletonâs median monthly housing costs amount to $920 (an 11th-best ranking) represent just 18.40% of a $60,000 income (also an 11th-best ranking). Appletonâs other top-20 ranking is for a relatively low poverty rate of 11.5%.
7. Duluth, MN
Duluth, Minnesota has the highest number of civic establishments of any city we analyzed, at 15.62 per 10,000 residents. The city comes in third in terms of the percentage of residents without health insurance, at just 3.5%, and fifth for average commute time, at 16.8 minutes. While Duluth has a median household income of just $55,819 â ranking 88th overall for this metric â it ranks ninth overall for both housing cost metrics we considered.
8. Omaha, NE
Omaha, Nebraska had the 11th-lowest July 2020 unemployment rate in the study, coming in at 6.4%. The city places 20th for its relatively low poverty rate, with 11.6% of the population living below the poverty line. Omaha is fairly expensive, with median monthly housing costs of $1,044, which represents 20.88% of a $60,000 income â ranking 31st out of 97 in the study for both housing costs and housing costs as a percentage of income.
9. Cedar Rapids, IA
Cedar Rapids, Iowa has monthly median housing costs of $902, which is 18.04% of a $60,000 income. The city places seventh in our study for both of those metrics. Cedar Rapids has two other top-15 metrics: It ranks 12th overall for the relatively low percentage of people without health insurance (5.5%) and 13th overall for average commute time (18.7 minutes).
10. Lexington, KY
Lexington, Kentucky had the seventh-lowest July 2020 unemployment rate of the 97 cities we analyzed, at 5.7%. Median monthly housing costs in Lexington total $991, which is 19.82% of a $60,000 budget (a top-25 rate). Lexington also ranks 10th out of 97 for its relatively high number of civic establishments, at 11.98 per 10,000 residents.
Data and Methodology
To find the best cities in the U.S. to live on a $60,000 salary, SmartAsset first created a list of the cities in which the population was at least 60,000 people and the median household income was between $55,000 and $65,000. We did this in order to find the cities where an income of $60,000 fell within the range of an average household. This resulted in a list of 97 cities, which we compared across the following nine metrics:
- Median household income. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
- Median monthly housing costs. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
- Housing costs as a percentage of income. We calculated this by finding the median monthly housing costs as a percentage of a $60,000 salary. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
- Entertainment establishments per 10,000 residents. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Business Patterns Survey. It is measured at the county level.
- Civic establishments per 10,000 residents. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2018 Business Patterns Survey. It is measured at the county level.
- Percentage of people without health insurance. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
- Average commute time. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
- Unemployment rate. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is for July 2020.
- Poverty rate. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
First, we ranked each city in each metric. From there, we calculated the average ranking for each city, assigning each metric an equal weight. Using this average ranking, we created our final score. The city with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.
Tips for Managing your Money With $60k in Income
- Seek expert financial advice. If youâre making $60,000 a year, you might stretch your dollar further by living in a place with lower living costs. But no matter your salary, a financial advisor can help you make the most of your money. Finding a financial advisor doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool connects you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.
- Create a budget you can count on. If youâre trying to make your $60k salary cover all your expenses (and still have something leftover to save), consider using SmartAssetâs budget calculator.
- Itâs never too early to be saving even a little for retirement. You work hard to earn that $60k a year. Now make that money work for you. Even if youâre on a relatively tight budget, try to make sure you save for retirement, perhaps using a workplace savings vehicle like a 401(k).
Questions about our study? Contact email@example.com
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The post Best Places to Live on a $60,000 Salary â 2020 Edition appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
We don’t have to tell you that Thanksgiving looks and feels a lot different this year. This may be the first you you are cooking the big meal yourself. While we wish we could be there to help, the next best thing is to share with you our favorite tools for prepping a Thanksgiving feast. And once you’ve got all the tools ordered, be sure to check out our Pinterest boards, for all of our favorite recipes both for Thanksgiving dinner and for the accompanying drinks.
fat separator–ALL THE GRAVY-NONE OF THE GREASE
BRINING=ACING THE TURKEY GAME
SAVE STOVETOP SPACE -SLOW COOK YOUR MASHED POTATOES
BECAUSE YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT EATING THAT WHOLE PIE IN ONE SITTING…BUT WE WON’T JUDGE IF YOU DO
GET THE RIGHT TEMP
BASTE LIKE A PRO
BECAUSE MANHANDLING A HOT TURKEY IS NOT A GOOD LOOK
Stainless Steel Trash & Recycling Center
Read Must Have Tools for Thanksgiving Dinner Prep This Year on Apartminty.