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Ranking the 8 Best Walkable Cities Around the World

If fitness is your goal, the factors determining the walkability of a city changes. Take safety, scenery or the general fitness habits of people who live in the area. Having off-road pedestrian-only trails dramatically decreases the likelihood that walkers will cross paths with a car. Beautiful walking trails make getting outside more enjoyable. What’s more, doing so in an active city means you have the camaraderie of fellow pedestrians. All of these things add up to extra motivation to get you out and about.

Keeping this in mind, we’ve rounded up our favorite cities. While there are plenty of great metropolitan areas that are ripe for exploration on foot, these eight have that little something special that makes them stick out.

8. VANCOUVER, CANADA

With a mission to become the “Greenest City” in the world, Vancouver enacted a number of important initiatives via their Healthy City Strategy. Among them are a network of map stands throughout the city to help support a culture of walkability. These pedestrian signs will point you in the right direction and help you identify a wide range of destinations around town. With breathtaking waterside views and places like Stanley Park, one of the biggest urban parks in North America, there’s plenty to see on foot.

7. MINNEAPOLIS

While you might want to steer clear of Minneapolis in the winter months, it’s consistently ranked as one of the healthiest and fittest cities in the United States. Known for having the best urban parks in the U.S., miles of scenic off-road trails will take you along parkways, around lakes and over the mighty Mississippi. The metropolitan area also plays host to the “Most Beautiful Urban Marathon” and is the only U.S. city to make the cut on the worldwide index of bike-friendly cities.  

6. MUNICH, GERMANY

Marked by its pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, Munich offers a great place to walk for both locals and tourists alike. Known as the “city of short distances,” it is easily navigable on foot and offers plenty of beautiful parks and great architecture. If you go, be sure not to miss the 900-acre English Garden, one of the biggest urban parks in the world. From beer gardens, to shaded paths, sports fields and a Japanese teahouse, it is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.

5. SAN FRANCISCO

Walkability scoring consistently ranks San Francisco as one of the best cities in which to hoof it. If you’re looking to burn some extra calories, the city’s steep hills will provide an extra workout as you navigate around town. Looking for an urban adventure? Check out Chinatown or the Financial District — both of which have stellar walkability scores. For a more peaceful jaunt, however, head north across the Golden Gate Bridge to the trails that meander through the stunning Marin Headlands.


READ MORE > 5 STRETCHES TO IMPROVE YOUR WALKS


4. NEW YORK CITY

There’s a good reason New York City is consistently ranked one of the top most walkable cities in the U.S. Walk Score has dubbed the Big Apple’s neighborhoods of Little Italy, Chinatown and NoHo all to be “walker’s paradises.” What’s more, Central Park offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city sidewalks and streets. With nearly 40 million visitors each year, there are plenty of other walkers and runners around to keep you motivated as you put one foot in front of the other.

3. BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

A city best explored on foot, this South American hotspot offers stunning architecture, tree-lined roadways and an impressive arts and culture scene. For self-guided walking tours, be sure to get your hands on the Golden Map available at most hotels and tourist locations. If you go, be sure to check out the Rose Garden Walk, a serene path that takes walkers past more than 1,000 species of roses.

2. WASHINGTON, D.C.

Washington D.C.’s highly touted reputation for walkability is largely thanks to its pedestrian-friendly boulevards. That’s not to mention the mostly free monuments, memorials, and malls that beg you to lace up your sneakers and explore. Indeed, the city was recently named one of the top major cities in the U.S. for biking and walking to work, with around 16.7% of people commuting.

1. AMSTERDAM

A short stroll along a scenic canal and you’ll understand why this city is the perfect place to explore on foot — not just by bike. Amsterdam is always actively improving infrastructure to make it one of the most walkable places on the planet. Along with low speed limits for cars, they are also working to separate biking and walking paths for the benefit of all. That’s not to mention the city’s many gardens, parks and green spaces. Walking tourists should be sure to check out the city’s largest park, Sloterpark, which is characterized by over 200 acres of natural winding paths, pools, a zoo and a disc golf course.

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Ranking 25 Popular Superfoods [Infographic]

If you’ve been curious about some of the health foods that have taken Instagram by storm, take a glance at our top 25 foods of the moment to learn what makes these picks so good for you.

1. ACAI

Acai is a rainforest berry loaded with antioxidants and anthocyanin pigments, said to provide a boost of energy. Enjoy it blended into a smoothie or as an acai bowl, topped with granola, nuts and your favorite fruits.

2. AVOCADOS

Avocados aren’t just for guacamole. These buttery fruits contain antioxidants, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber to help keep you satiated. Eaten straight out of its skin, smashed and spread onto toast, chopped and mixed into a salad or even blended into a smoothie — the possibilities are endless.

3. BEE POLLEN

Bee pollen is a ball of pollen granules created by worker bees as they fly from flower to flower, forming part of “bee bread,” the main food source for a beehive. Bee pollen is brimming with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, as well as 22 essential amino acids. Said to be great for the immune system and nervous system, bee pollen is also associated with regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Sprinkled on yogurt, in a smoothie or simply eaten by the spoonful are just some of the ways to enjoy this superfood.

4. CACAO

Cacao is the raw form of one of our favorites sweet treats — chocolate. Beans from the cacao tree are dried, fermented and minimally processed, and they are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium and iron. Cacao also contains flavanols associated with elevated mood and cognitive function. Raw cacao powder can be used in place of unsweetened cocoa powder in many recipes, and cacao nibs (chunky pieces of crushed cacao beans) can be added to oatmeal, acai bowls or baked goods to provide a satisfying crunch.

5. CAULIFLOWER

Cauliflower is an incredibly versatile food. Riced, puréed, made into a pizza crust (yes, really) or even added to a smoothie, this cruciferous veggie has 77% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C per serving, as well as healthy amounts of vitamin B6 and plenty of fiber. Because of its fairly mild and adaptable flavor, you can get really creative — try one of these recipes to embark on your love affair with cauliflower.

6. CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds offer plant-based omega-3 fatty acids along with a boost of fiber. When added to liquid, they swell and form a gel with a consistency of custard, so they’re great for thickening smoothies or making a vegan pudding.

7. COCONUT

Coconut is a truly versatile food and can be incorporated into your diet in many forms, from fresh coconut meat to electrolyte-dense coconut water. Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides, an easily converted energy source, while coconut flour is a gluten-free baking ingredient and coconut sugar is a low-glycemic sweetener.

8. DARK LEAFY GREENS

Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens and chard are full of iron, vitamin K, fiber and antioxidants. Spinach has a subtle flavor, making it a great addition to smoothies. Kale and chard are delicious in soups or simple sautés. And collard greens make excellent low-carb wrappers for tacos or veggies and hummus. Need ideas on how to get more green goodness? Check out these ways to cook seven of our favorite super greens.

9. DRAGONFRUIT

Dragonfruit, also known as pitaya, is a brightly colored tropical fruit that has a consistency similar to a kiwi and a flavor that is reminiscent of an earthy watermelon. This fruit is high in antioxidants that can help fight free radicals, as well as filling fiber and vitamin C. Eat as a snack, add to a fruit salad for a burst of color or blend into a smoothie.

10. FERMENTED FOODS

Fermented foods are naturally loaded with probiotics, so they help maintain gut health. Fermented vegetables can add flavor and texture to a salad or a quinoa bowl, but it doesn’t stop there: Reach for miso, natto, tempeh, pickles, kefir and raw cheese to get a tasty dose of probiotics plus the added benefit of an array of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

11. FLAX SEEDS

Flax seeds deliver a plant-based dose of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, making them heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory. To get the most benefit out of flax, grind the seeds, then sprinkle on oatmeal, salads or your favorite smoothie.

12. FREEKEH

Freekeh is a type of wheat that has long been a staple in Middle Eastern diets and has recently shown up on restaurant menus, touted as an “ancient grain.” It has twice as much fiber and more protein than quinoa. Freekeh has nutty, earthy flavor with a hint of smokiness, and it can be used in any dish that calls for whole grains.

13. GOJI BERRIES

Goji berries, also known as wolf berries, have been used in traditional Tibetan medicine for centuries. These tiny berries are high in antioxidants called carotenoids (like beta-carotene), iron and nearly twice the daily value of vitamin A. Mild and tangy, with a texture similar to raisins, these can be eaten on their own, used as a topping for overnight oats, or as a mix-in for granola or trail mix.

14. HEMP SEEDS

Hemp seeds are another heart-healthy seed that hold an enormous amount of protein, omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) fats. Studies have shown hemp seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease, and they have been said to alleviate symptoms of menopause. They can be eaten raw, cooked or lightly toasted, added to cereal, oatmeal and sprinkled over salad for a dose of healthy fats and fiber.

15. JACKFRUIT

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is rich in vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and phytonutrients. Eaten ripe, it has a slightly sweet taste, but unripe green jackfruit can serve as a substitute for meat — braised in a savory sauce, the cooked jackfruit has a consistency similar to shredded pork.

16. KOMBUCHA

Kombucha is a slightly sour, usually effervescent beverage made by fermenting sweetened tea. Today, you’ll find this beverage widely available at your local health food store and at some restaurants, where you might even be able to get it on tap. Kombucha is high in gut-friendly probiotics and low in calories.

17. MACA

Maca is a root traditionally used to balance hormones, increase energy and libido, and reduce stress. It is considered an “adaptogen,” a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stressors and normalize bodily processes. Maca powder contains plenty of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, too. Add this to smoothies or even your favorite recipes that include chocolate, as maca’s maltlike flavor and chocolate make a great combination.

18. MATCHA

Matcha is a powder made from the ground leaves of shade-grown green tea plants. This tea contains loads of antioxidants, and since you’re ingesting the entire leaf, you also get a dose of fiber and chlorophyll. The traditional serving is made with matcha powder and hot water, but if that doesn’t excite you, perhaps one of these recipes will!

19. MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS

Medicinal mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps and chaga are an ancient, often wild-harvested group of foods that have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine. Each mushroom has a specific set of properties, ranging from boosting blood oxygen and promoting proper digestion to providing cardiovascular health support and improving the immune system. Today, dried and powdered medicinal mushrooms can be found at health food stores, and they can be easily added to soups, coffees, teas and more.

20. NUTS AND NUT BUTTERS

Nuts and nut butters, just like avocados, are rich in healthy fats and fiber and may contribute to lowering cholesterol. If you consume nut butters, steer clear of those with added sweeteners and opt for those that are 100% ground nuts. Choose nuts as a filling snack, or spread nut butter on toast, swirl into oatmeal or add to your morning smoothie.

21. SACHA INCHI

Sacha inchi, also known as Inca peanuts, are seeds that comes from the Peruvian highlands.They are full of proteins, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E and fiber. The oil from this nutty superfood has a flavor that is lighter than olive oil, and it can be used for cooking or as the base for salad dressing.

22. SALMON

Salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fats, which can help reduce inflammation. Wild-caught salmon is a sustainable food source that provides up to 58% of your daily protein needs per 4-ounce serving, vitamin D and selenium, as well as bioactive peptides that can aid in regulating collagen synthesis, a key function in maintaining joint health. Salmon can be eaten simply pan-fried, grilled, broiled or made into burgers with your favorite spices and herbs.

23. SEAWEED

Seaweed (aka sea vegetables) contains high amounts of minerals including iodine, iron, magnesium and calcium and plenty of immunity-boosting vitamin C. Try a Japanese-style wakame or hijiki salad, or snack on seasoned nori. New to sea veggies? Ease into it by using kelp granules or dulse flakes on your food in place of table salt.

24. SKYR

Skyr, or Icelandic yogurt, is thicker and less sour than Greek yogurt, and, since it’s made with skim milk, is also naturally fat-free and lower in calories. Like Greek yogurt, skyr is high in protein and calcium, and it also contains probiotics that are said to help boost healthy bacteria flora in the digestive tract.

25. SPIRULINA

Spirulina, a freshwater blue-green algae, is 60% protein by weight, high in antioxidants and B-vitamins. Often available in a powder, it can be added to smoothies or sweeter juices, but if the fishy flavor of spirulina isn’t your favorite, opt for tablets instead.

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