By Alyssa Shaffer
May 20, 2010

Texans might like things big, but Austinites are significantly less obese than the rest of the country. Austin ranks near the top in terms of city parkland (there are 220 in the area), but it also has a young, highly active community and low rates of chronic diseases like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. One of Austin's features that makes it easy to be active is Lady Bird Lake in the middle of the city. Locals run or walk along the surrounding trail and kayak or row on the lake.

Hot trend in town

Austin is the home of Lance Armstrong, so road cycling is a popular pastime. You can find group rides for every ability year-round through the Austin Cycling Association (

Residents Report: "Why I love this city!"

"I like being surrounded by lakes, rivers, and parks. I used to row crew at the University of Texas, and I still go sculling on Lake Austin. I'm never alone out there!"

-DARLENE FISKE, 39, public relations executive

Healthiest hotel

Retreat to the Lake Austin Spa Resort for more than 100 indulgent spa services, fitness classes, and activities from stability ball training to stand-up paddle boarding. The innovative, healthy cuisine is prepared from vegetables and herbs harvested from the resort's own organic garden. From $518, including all meals, classes, and activities;

Eat here

The 80,000-square-foot Whole Foods ( at Sixth St. and Lamar is the company's flagship store, located blocks away from where the chain first began as a small neighborhood grocer three decades ago. There's even an on-site cooking school.