Healthy At Home

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By Ed Roskowinski, CR

Did you make a new year’s resolutions to get healthy and fit this year? Well, you’ve already made one good decision by choosing the Twin Cities as your place of residence.  Minneapolis/St. Paul is considered the healthiest and fittest city in America, topping the “Fit List” for a second straight year according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s most recent American Fitness Index.

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The question is how would your home rank when it comes to helping you keep fit? The Twin Cities has more parks per square mile than any major city in the U.S. Is your home in an area with great parks or walking and biking paths that might just get you out doing those things more? According to, Dan Buettner, New York Times best-selling author of The Blue Zones, Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest , the world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. I’m not saying we need to go back to a time when we had to walk to the television each time we wanted to change the channel, but having a staircase in your home that you use regularly may not be such a bad thing.

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The Twin Cities also received high marks for access to fresh food with more Farmers Markets than any other US city.  Maybe your home allows you the opportunity to grow your own fresh food and ideally has a great place to store and prepare all of this bounty?  Homeowners are more likely to cook their meals at home if they have an inviting, efficient space to prepare it. Make sure your kitchen is well designed and has plenty of natural light so it’s a place you want to hang out and create something special.

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According to Dan Buettner, successful centenarians in Blue Zones put their families first. Now I’m sure after spending time with extended family over the holidays, you may not be ready to welcome them back into your home just yet.  But, by creating spaces that are designed to make family gatherings easier to host, we might just find ourselves spending more time together, maybe sharing a bottle of wine and avoiding topics like religion and politics.

In what way does your home or neighborhood help you stay health, fit and potentially live longer?

Ed Roskowinski is General Manger and VP of Vujovich Design Build, Inc., a 37-year design build firm specializing in building and remodeling unique Twin Cities homes for unique homeowners.

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