San Antonio fitness has not been all that great according to Men’s Fitness magazine. For 2009, we are number 3 for fattest city. A few years ago, we were number one and I believe that last year we were at number two.
Per Men’s Fitness, the fattest city for 2009 is Miami, Florida, which really surprises me. With all of that ocean, I thought a lot more people would be at the beach swimming, snorkeling, boating, and surfing…
The number two fattest city is Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. And then, there is us! No, we are not proud of it. 28% of our residents are obese and the national average is 25.19% so you can see we are above average.
We have parks, public swimming pools, a beautiful, long River Walk to stroll on and a lot of gyms here in town. So why are there so many obese citizens living in San Antonio?
Our backyard above-ground pool at night. Having an inexpensive pool in the backyard is a great idea for fitness, especially when it is so hot here much of the year!
Well, for one thing, most of us have a longer than usual city commute. San Antonio is a large city and if you live on one side of town, but work on the other, you will sit in traffic going to work and returning home for a good long time. With well over 1 million people, the traffic is ridiculous. During rush hour, traffic is bumper to bumper on the freeways and some traffic lights keep you sitting through several light cycles before you get to go through the light.
What does all of this have to do with San Antonio fitness? The big factor is time. We waste a lot of time sitting in traffic when we could be home exercising. By the time we actually arrive home from our commute after a long day at work, there is not much time left to exercise, cook dinner, do chores, spend time with our kids, pay bills,not to mention there is hardly any energy left in us…You get the idea.
We just want to vegetate in front of our TVs. According to Nielsen ratings, San Antonians watch television 9% more than residents in other cities across the country. I will bet it is due to the heat we face. Some love the heat. I do not.
Another reason for the lack of San Antonio fitness is that most of the year it is just too hot to do anything outside unless it is in the pool. A lot of people do not have one, but there are city pools all over San Antonio yet, according to Men’s Fitness, 17% less people swim for fun here than in other cities across the United States. Swimming is my favorite summertime activity and I try to swim almost everyday during the hot months. I love to be in the water.
There are 210 parks here so people can get out and walk and play ball with their kids, but considering that we have well over 1 million people, that is just not very many parks.
Only 12% of San Antonians belong to health clubs, yet you find membership gyms all over the place. They are in almost every strip mall around. The national average for health club membership is 43% so you can see that even though gyms are everywhere here, hardly anyone uses them.
Part of the reason is the expense. It takes a lot of money to live here, yet the average starting pay is not very good in most jobs. My husband and I have both had starting jobs in San Antonio over the past 10 years where we were making $7 or $8 an hour. Raising a family on so little does not give you room for extravagances.
San Antonio fitness is important to many. There are a lot of people who exercise faithfully each day in my neighborhood and along my regular routes. I pass joggers, walkers, and bikers out all the time in my neighborhood.