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The Best Cities For Women

Published: 01/16/2009

By the Editors of Women's Health

Only one city can reign supreme in our first-ever nationwide search for America's Capital of Health. And the tiara goes to...

Hometown bragging rights don't come cheap. There are teetering skyscrapers to erect, all-star athletes to woo, world-class museums to fill. But the residents (and the tourist boards) of the 10 cities topping our list are about to get something to crow about, gratis.

To compile our first annual survey of America's Best & Worst Cities for Women, we joined forces with Men's Health to analyze how 100 U.S. metropolises stack up when it comes to health, fitness, and quality of life. Our number-crunching team tallied 38 factors, including cancer rates, commute times, air quality, and the number of residents who swipe their gym passes regularly. When the dust finally cleared, a few of the cities had trounced the competition.

The 10 best
1. Salt Lake City
2. San Francisco
3. Seattle
4. San Jose, Calif.
5. Denver
6. Minneapolis
7. Fargo, N.D.
8. Madison, Wis.
9. Manchester, N.H.
10. Aurora, Colo.

Tips from Salt Lake City: Squash on-the-job stress
SLC isn't known as a boozy town; but who needs to drown your sorrows at happy hour when you actually like your job? Thanks to mega job growth, workers here climb the career ladder faster; they also spend less time than the average commuter stuck in traffic. "That translates into a lot less stress," says Michael Farber, M.D., director of the Executive Health Program at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. "When you keep stress in check, your immune system works better and you're more likely to adopt and stick to healthy habits." No surprise, then, that a study from Australia found that people with the most job strain and instability had poorer health than those with job security. Can't stand your current gig? Learning new skills at your workplace can boost your résumé and help you feel more in control.

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