Back in the 1860s, a gold rush lured men from all over the country to the Boise Basin. Some struck it rich, but most simply struck out. Today most of the gold is gone, but in its place is something much more valuable: a rich vein of health, happiness, and fitness that the men of Boise, Idaho, are mining every day.
We arrived at Boise after a long journey measured not in miles traveled but in numbers crunched. All told, we delved into more than a dozen data sources in order to assemble city rankings in 38 different criteria, including everything from air quality to unemployment, cost of living to death rates. We factored in property crime and criminally long commute times. We even took into account the ratio of single men to single women. (After all, what's a great town if you can't enjoy it with a great woman?)
But as much as this is Boise's time to shine, the rest of America's men don't need to rush there again. We've unearthed five nuggets of wisdom that will enrich your life no matter where you live.
By Margaret Niemiec. Research by Christa Sgobba. QOL = Quality of Life
The 10 Best
San Jose, CA
San Francisco, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
The 10 Worst
St. Louis, MO
Click here for more on the sources for our statistics and to see additional city rankings.
Boise, Idaho: Win the Rat Race
Eighteen minutes. That's the average commute time for our boys in Boise. Now, given that new Brown University research finds that the less time you spend commuting, the more minutes you have for sleep, exercise, and making your own meals, it's no wonder Boise took the top spot overall.
The secret? Pedal power. See, when you drive, your commute is susceptible to slowdowns from packed roadways, but travel time on a bike is the same every day, explains Boise State University professor George Knight, M.A., founder and director of the school's Bicycle Congress.
And the city is definitely cycling-centric: More than 220 miles of on-street bike lanes and 46 miles of designated bike routes run through Ada County. You'll also notice a raft of road-widening projects and find bike racks outside most public buildings.
If you're a first-time bike commuter, spend a Saturday morning practicing your route to work. No place to ride? Sculpt a killer body in your living room—in 4 weeks!—with The NEW Spartacus Workout.
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