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Lynchburg ranks high in healthy living survey

Lynchburg Mayor Mike Gillette (L) continues the Live Healthy Lynchburg program started by former Mayor Joan Foster (R)
Lynchburg Mayor Mike Gillette (L) continues the Live Healthy Lynchburg program started by former Mayor Joan Foster (R)
Sandy Wallace

The city of Lynchburg, Va. is ranked 10th in "overall well-being" among small cities in the United States, according to a new Gallup survey.

The survey ranks cities' overall well-being based on percentage of obesity, frequent exercise, frequent produce consumption, smoking, daily stress, and the uninsured based on Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data from 2012 and 2013.

According to WSET.com, Lynchburg has come a long way since being ranked among the top ten most obese cities in the country is 2010.

As a result of the 2010 findings, former Mayor Joan Foster founded Live Healthy Lynchburg, an initiative between city officials, the health department and local organizations to fight obesity and help citizens reach for healthy goals.

Lynchburg area residents have lost more than 12 tons of body weight since then through programs and initiatives which include the Strive for Five Challenge, now in its second year.

The goal of Strive for Five is to spend 30 minutes each day engaged in physical activities five days a week. Strive for Five 2014 began April 7 and ends June 15.

Foster's health and fitness goals for the city's residents were continued by current Mayor Mike Gillette. Here are some ways to reach your personal health goals in Lynchburg.

Ride Bikes
Ride Bikes Sandy Wallace

Ride Bikes

Gather up the family and load up your bikes. Hit the Blackwater Creek Bikeway in Lynchburg and enjoy time outdoors while meeting your family's fitness goals. You can bike the entire trail or just part of the trail.

Go for a Run
Go for a Run Sandy Wallace

Go for a Run

Whether you participate in an organized running event or run as a family, you'll see results in a hurry when you run for fitness. You'll lose weight and inches around your waist as you increase your speed and distance. Running is a great way to get in shape or stay in shape for all ages.

Hit the Park
Hit the Park Sandy Wallace

Hit the Park

Spending 30 minutes in active play each day is a great way to meet your fitness goals. The Playcore playground at Riverside Park is accessible for people of all physical abilities. From May until October, you can also visit the Sprayground beside the playground for lots of water fun.

Hit the Trail
Hit the Trail Sandy Wallace

Hit the Trail

Hit the trails in Lynchburg and get back to nature. The Alpine Trail winds through Lynchburg's Riverside Park. You can find trails in the woods near the Blackwater Creek off the Bikeway on Langhorne Road, near the Blackwater Athletic Area on Monticello Avenue, at Percival's Island and throughout Lynchburg.

Play Disc Golf
Play Disc Golf Sandy Wallace

Play Disc Golf

Walk the 18-hole disc golf course at Peaks View Park as you compete for the lowest score while making family memories. Disc golf is a great way to combine friendly family competition and exercise and it's perfect for all ages.

Hike Sharp Top Mountain
Hike Sharp Top Mountain Sandy Wallace

Hike Sharp Top Mountain

Even young kids will enjoy the adventure of hiking Sharp Top Mountain. The trail to Sharp Top is located at the Peaks of Otter near Bedford. Allow at least 1.5 hours for the round trip, but allow more if your kids are young. Be sure to take plenty of water with you.

Backyard Fun
Backyard Fun Sandy Wallace

Backyard Fun

Spend time in your own backyard playing kickball, softball or tag. Kids and adults can have fun together while working off excess weight. Make time for a healthy snack after your outdoor play.