Want Better Health? Four Ways Your Home Can Actually Help

With many Americans looking for ways to better their health, even changes that seem minor can have a profound effect on creating a healthier lifestyle. Take home buying as an example. How can your choice of real estate increase your fitness and help improve your health? Here are 4 ways.

Walking Neighborhoods. Buying a house, condo, or apartment in a downtown or city neighborhood where more people walk to daily activities can get a homeowner outside more and for longer periods. Walking to work has been shown in studies to improve health in many areas, include reducing diabetes risk, high blood pressure, and weight.

Whether you walk to work or not, you can still benefit from being close to grocery stores and markets, medical providers, clubs and evening entertainment, movie theaters, schools, and other places your family goes to regularly. Many cities and towns also offer bicycle routes and even bike rentals to help you get around without a car.

Outdoor Friendly Areas. If the city isn't your thing, how about improving health by getting outdoors more? Look for areas with outdoor sports opportunities that appeal to your personality such as hiking and skiing in Colorado or swimming and kayaking in Florida. In the local community, check out the parks and recreation district as well as community centers or senior centers to see what kinds of outdoor activities they regularly offer.

Large Floor Plans or Yards. Small houses have many benefits, but so do larger and less compact ones. Caring for a full yard or a multi-story house gives you more opportunities to add steps to your day without even noticing. A big yard means you can add a garden and trees for fresh fruits and vegetables, too.

Better Kitchens. If you want to eat healthier and save money on entertaining out, you may want to look for real estate with an upgraded — or remodel-ready — kitchen. Having a good kitchen layout with an efficient work triangle (sink, stove, and refrigerator), a brighter space to cook in, or more food prep area can work wonders for your desire to spend more time preparing healthy meals at home. An outdoor grilling area conveniently located near the kitchen can also get everyone in the house outside for a fun and healthy meal.

Whatever type of health improvement you're looking for — whether it's more walking, getting outside, or simply cooking healthier alternatives — finding a house that better fits your needs is a great step to a better future.