Burlington is ranked as the healthiest city in the country

Burlington was named the healthiest city in America by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), in November. To reach this conclusion, people were asked if they thought they were in good or great health – 92 percent of Burlington residents said yes. The Queen City has the lowest rate of obesity and diabetes in the country with a population fond of exercise, the CDCP reported. Burlington is home to three colleges, which considerably lowers the average age of the population to 37 and contributes to its good health ratings. However, the unhealthiest city, Huntington, Va., is also a college town. Burlington has a higher average education level and has less poverty than Huntington ,the CDCP said. Campus Recreation Fitness Coordinator, Aleksandra Townsend, thinks that Burlington has a higher awareness in terms of eating healthier and community outreach with emphasis on local economy and local food. The natural climate of Burlington provides an atmosphere conducive to outdoor activities with parks, gardens, nearby mountains, Lake Champlain, safe sidewalks and the Church Street walking mall. Many community members have access to the Guicciardi Fitness Center in Patrick Gymnasium if they have an affiliation with the school such as alumni status. “The reason we do this is that the facilities are so crowded as they are that we do not want everyone from the community coming over and taking the equipment from students, Campus Recreations Assistant Director of Operations, Tim Lewis said. Lewis said that by 4 p.m. each day, all of the facilities in the gym are being used, “the demand on this facility is tremendous.” The number of people purchasing gym memberships is growing continuously – totalling about 800 people for the fall semester. This could be due to the University’s new policy of giving gym credit for attending 28 of the provided fitness classes. The gym promotes personal health as opposed to a competitive attitude and sees real improvement in personal training pro?grams and ‘boot camp’ classes, Lewis said. Junk food is not absent from UVM’s college scene, but neither are restaurants that serve grass-fed beef, community supported agriculture or a co-op style grocery store that provides a plethora of local, healthy and organic options. Large Burlington-based corporations like IBM and Burton provide generous heath benefits along with wellness programs to their employees, which contributes to the overall health of Burlington at every age.