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Healthy Living Features to Look for in a Neighborhood

Are you looking to relocate to a new rental apartment? When looking for somewhere new to live, no doubt you’ll have a list of things that you would ideally want in a new home and neighborhood.

The entire process of finding another home and relocating to a new place comes with a lot of important decisions. At the top of the list, of course, is what city or neighborhood you decide to call home. More people than ever are seeking a healthy lifestyle, and their choice of a neighborhood can really help with that.

When you’re browsing apartments, it’s easy to get lost in the details of the home and forget to check out the surroundings. If you want to live healthily, the following neighborhood features will help put you on the right track.


neighborhood walkability

One of the most important aspects of a neighborhood in terms of allowing for a healthy life is providing the opportunity to be active. Exercise is very important for a healthy lifestyle, so if you can leave the car keys at home when you run errands, you will improve your fitness. Walking also has the benefit of reducing pollution and makes the streets safer for kids thanks to less traffic.

Your neighborhood will need to have good sidewalks, as well as amenities and stores close enough so you can walk to them. It isn’t very useful if you only have one without the other, however. Sidewalks with nowhere to walk to means you still have to jump in the car to run all your errands, although they could encourage you to take walks with no purpose.

Some communities are really helpful for people who want that healthy lifestyle by including dedicated bike lanes for those who love to exercise, while also eliminating the need to use their vehicle everywhere they go.

Green Spaces

neighborhood green spaces

You will be more inclined to go out for a walk if you have some place nice to visit nearby. This could be a hiking trail, a dog park or a wooded area. These sorts of places enhance people’s lives as well as property values.

Green spaces are known to reduce people’s stress and can even help with conditions like ADHD and PTSD. An area filled with trees can offer shade in the hot summer months, as well as make your home a little less reliant on air-con, thanks to the cooling effect.

Many environmentally conscious towns have been building dedicated walking trails for their residents. When searching for a home, you can ask around and research online for some tips on where to find this amenity.

Workout Options

exercise outside

A neighborhood with access to a gym is something people are increasingly looking for. An excellent gym that is affordable, has fitness classes and a good range of exercise equipment will add a lot to the neighborhood.

Sports fields and tennis courts are just a couple of other options to look for in a neighborhood that encourages a healthy lifestyle. It is also good to have some place people can go jogging or ride a bike away from busy roads. The more workout options available to people in the neighborhood, the better.

Healthy Eating

healthy neighborhood eating options

Exercise is only part of a healthy lifestyle, the food you eat is very important too. Easy access to a farmers’ market allows residents to buy fresh healthy food.

Farmers’ markets can offer freshly picked fruit and vegetables, organic options, grass-fed meats and other produce grown locally. Buying locally-grown food at reasonable prices helps support local farmers and improves your community as well.


Areas with a lower volume of traffic are nicer places to live in. Not only does that mean less noise but less pollution as well. And it means the streets are safer for children and adults alike. There’s a reason why people find a cul-de-sac as one of the most popular neighborhood locations.

Neighborhood Meetings

neighbors talking

If you are interested in living in a particular neighborhood, you can really find out how healthy the neighborhood is if you go to a homeowners’ association meeting. This should give you a lot of information about what it is like to live in that community and any issues that could be affecting it.

You can see how active the community is and how engaged they are in improving the neighborhood. You could find out about recycling programs and sustainability drives that the association operates. These meetings can let you know what’s trending in the neighborhood in terms of homes and lifestyle, such as maybe the construction of modular homes, or volunteering events that raise funds for charity.

It could forewarn you about future construction plans, or alert you to enhancements to the area. It will also let you observe how friendly your potential neighbors will be, and you could even make friends with a few people before you move in.

Final Thoughts on Picking a Healthy Neighborhood

While there are a lot of amenities which can add value to a neighborhood and encourage healthy living, you should be alert to negative things and the aspects you want to avoid, too. Do you notice signs of vandalism and unrepaired damage in community areas? Even things like litter could be a sign of a community that is heading in the wrong direction and isn’t going to create a healthy neighborhood.

Hopefully, you have found these tips on picking a healthy neighborhood to be useful, and you’ll know what you want from a neighborhood the next time you decide to relocate.

Mihaela Buzec
Mihaela Buzec
Mihaela Buzec is a senior writer and online content developer for RentCafe. She covers topics about everything related to the renting lifestyle, from decorating and interior design to finding the right apartment, frugal living, money saving advice, and more. She dives deep into topics of interest, writing well-researched comprehensive guides on subjects such as renting with pets, saving on utilities, or avoiding rental scams to help renters stay informed and live smart. Mihaela holds a BA in English and German Language and Literature, an MA in Current Linguistics, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in neurolinguistics.

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