Buffalo certainly isn’t as walkable a city as New York– with the weather and lack of adequate walking paths, driving seems to be a much more efficient option. Certainly, when the weather turns warmer, our city has much to offer in the way of healthy outdoor options, but the design of the city, like many others, could be contributing to obesity.
Studies from around the world are showing a correlation between the location and design of our neighborhoods and overall health. For Buffalo, which is comprised of many suburbs that are far and away from shopping and entertainment, this means that driving is the best means of getting anywhere. But being forced to drive (in winter and summer) means that we are sitting more than ever.
Of course, just because one lives in the suburbs doesn’t mean he or she has to miss out on a healthy lifestyle. The study also found that the number of opportunities for a healthy lifestyle also can help keep neighborhoods from keeping us lethargic. With the number of gyms throughout Buffalo and its suburbs, as well as bike paths, tennis courts, and other hubs of exercise, it is truly up to the individual to make the change.
So go outside or to the gym and do something active! Enjoy your neighborhood, even if it forces you to drive.