Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My visit to Vancouver

I visited my husband who is working in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago. And let me start this out by saying that I have traveled a lot. I was absolutely stunned at what a healthy population of people Vancouver has and what a beautiful city it is. Yes, I did see the seedy druggy part of the city. But overall it was amazing just how mindful everybody is about his or her well-being. Everybody rides bikes, runs, walks and hikes. Either to and from work or after work. Granted, I was there during the summer, but you can’t tell me that it all just stops during the winter and they all balloon up. It’s a cleaner and more civilized city. It really seems that Vancouver encourages people to stay healthy. There are bike/running trails everywhere. It is definitely made easier for bikes and pedestrians to get around than it is for cars. There are parks and dog beaches. People walk there dogs everywhere. Kids are thrown in those little carts that attach on the back of bicycles and are wheeled around town by their parents. It is so beautiful there it makes you want to get out and do your dreaded cardio.
I had heard a lot about the food scene and was excited to check it out. What was really great was that most restaurants served local organic and sustainable food. Even the local corner Thai place used all local, organic ingredients.  Restaurants were almost shunned upon if they don’t. The local farmers markets were bursting with berries and tomatoes and fresh herbs. It was so inspiring.
When I go places I like to immerse myself in there culture, food and habits and learn new things, and really learn what makes the city tick. And it struck me that when a city is set up with health and fitness as a priority it really inspires you to partake. Vancouver inspires you in a positive way to be and stay healthy, rather than punishing you and shaming you for being unhealthy. It is another way of going about it, but it really seems like it works. If there is not a demand for bad food then those places do not exist because they don’t make money.  If all your friends and neighbors are healthy and fit then it inspires you to be that way also. It just seems like a way of life there. Its not a question of if you are going to do it, it’s a question of when.

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