Your health and where you live : Are these connected?

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Your health depends on many factors, such as the quality of food you eat, what you put on your body, what you breathe, what chemicals you are exposed to, how much exercise you get every day, and more. While there is a considerable amount of control that comes with each of these factors, there can also be an unfortunate lack of it — depending on where you live.

I live in the beautiful northwestern city, Boise, the capital of the state of Idaho. In the last few years, Boise has been listed as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. But that’s not all it’s known for. The City of Trees sits in the Treasure Valley, surrounded by mountains that offer skiing excursions, thousands of hiking routes of all levels, and rivers and lakes where you can go boating, kayaking, floating, swimming, and fishing.

The food culture is incredible. Local restaurants seem to pop up everyday, many prioritizing local and ethical sourcing, some fully vegan or vegetarian, and almost all serving high-quality, delicious foods that residents will not only enjoy but will feel great after eating.

These are just a few factors that make Boise a great home for its residents, not only for entertainment and happiness, but for their health as well.

Unfortunately, not every city in the U.S. is as wholesome and thriving as Boise. Where Boise has rivers and lakes, other towns have toxic water that cannot be played in and requires extensive treatment to be drinkable. Where Boise has many opportunities for hiking, biking, and walking, other cities don’t have access to trails or safe places to do them. Where Boise has high-quality restaurants and grocery stores, other towns have food deserts and only fast food options.

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