Staying Fit & Healthy
In this section...
Boulder’s beautiful setting, outdoor recreational amenities and emphasis on active, healthy living combine to rank it consistently among the healthiest places in the United States. It’s no secret that Boulder residents and visitors are dedicated to staying fit and healthy. Attribute it to our nearly 300 days of sunshine, exceptionally mild climate, or the Rocky Mountains in our back yard.
Our quality of life translates into a healthy and productive workforce that experiences less absenteeism and places fewer demands on the healthcare system. Colorado has the nation’s lowest rate of obesity and is among the five lowest states for deaths caused by heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Destination of Athletes
Boulder’s ideal weather, breathtaking natural environment, facilities, and health-conscious culture help make it an athlete’s dream town. There are over 70 Olympians living in Boulder County, drawn to the area for its altitude, running and cycling trails and supportive athletic culture.
Boulder has been rated the top "Dream Town" by Outside Magazine, best city for cycling by Bicycling magazine, and the top Triathlon Town by Inside Triathlon magazine.
- The annual Bolder Boulder is the second largest 10K road race in the nation.
- IRONMAN Boulder became the largest IRONMAN event in the world with the inaugural race in August 2014.
- Boulder has hosted stages of the USA ProCycling Challenge twice.
- Team Slipstream, the pro cycling team with Tour de France racers, is based in Boulder.
- Marathoners from around the world come here to train.
- The world's first carbon neutral soccer team is based in Boulder.
- The world's best rock climbers come to Eldorado Canyon State Park to climb the sheer walls.
Abundance of Trails
Miles and miles of hiking and biking trails are situated in the preserved open spaces that surround Boulder. There are 45,000 acres of protected land that await discovery in the City of Boulder and 35,000 acres of open space available to the public in Boulder County. Bird watchers, photographers, hikers, dog walkers, even hard core mountain bikers enjoy the land that is just 5 minutes from downtown.
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks has 150 miles of trails used by walkers, hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, dog walkers and other passive recreational uses, such as nature study and photography. Boulder County offers more than 110 miles of trails. In addition to providing and maintaining both soft-surface and paved multi-use trails, Boulder County has a strong on-street bikeway and shoulder-improvement program.
Natural and Organic Products
Boulder is home to one of the largest concentrations of natural and organic products companies in the U.S., and has the highest per capita consumption of organic foods in North America, according to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.
As one of the key industries in Boulder, there are hundreds of Natural Products companies in Boulder and a very active local industry association in Naturally Boulder. Retailers and restaurants carry natural and organic food options throughout the city.
The nationally-recognized Boulder's Farmer's Market is the largest outdoor market in the state, providing an outlet for local agricultural producers to sell their products directly to the public.
There are over 70 organizations in Boulder – farms, dairies, ranches, markets, restaurants – that embrace the idea of local, seasonal, and artisanal food production and cooking. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, gourmet cheeses, wines, free range chicken and lambs are grown and raised here. Residents and visitors can enjoy Farm-to-Table meals at local farms or experience winery, craft brewery or distillery tours.
Bike or hike? Ski or snowmobile? Golf or garden? Climb or kayak? In Colorado, you can choose from these and many more outdoor adventures nearly every day of the year. Colorado’s climate and the splendor of both the mountains and the wide-open plains give the state’s recreational character an extraordinary sense of diversity.
- Ten national parks provide an incredible variety of outdoor recreational opportunities and receive almost 5.5 million annual visitors.
- Colorado's 42 state parks and numerous outdoor recreation areas provide opportunities for boating, hiking, camping, swimming, snowmobiling, bird watching, picnicking, fishing, hunting and biking.
- Colorado is the country’s most popular ski destination, with 26 world-class ski resorts.
- Colorado boasts more than 35 winter recreation areas that offer snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowcat tours, sleigh rides, ice skating, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and more.
No wonder our residents are among the healthiest in the nation, including the following distinctions:
- Colorado has the highest participation in physical activities (Kaiser State Health Facts, 2013)
- Colorado is the leanest state with the nation’s lowest rate of adult obesity (20.5 percent) and is the only state with an obesity rate below 21 percent (Trust for America’s Health, 2013; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013)
- Colorado ranks second lowest of the states for the prevalence of hypertension among working-age adults and diabetes. (The Colorado Health Foundation, 2013)
- Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranked Colorado as the second-best state on its American Fitness Index.