The Best Cities For Walking

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You don't need fancy workout equipment or a pricey gym membership to get in shape. Plain old walking is one of the easiest -- and cheapest! -- forms of exercise, and it's seriously effective.

Walking boasts many of the health benefits associated with any type of physical activity, like lower cholesterol and blood pressure, weight management and lifted spirits -- but without the injury-causing impact of something more intense, like running. Walking just an hour a day can lessen the effects of genes that influence us toward obesity. It's also easy to sneak in a few extra minutes of walking throughout your day, by parking farther away in lots, opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator or going on walking meetings at work.

In urban areas designed for walking, markets, drugstores and perhaps even the office might be in walking distance, but in sprawling suburbs or towns without sidewalks, ditching the car might not be feasible for everyone. However, research shows that improving a town's walkability can help keep its residents maintain a healthy weight.

With the help of Walkscore.com, Prevention magazine assembled a list of the top 25 cities for walkability. Click through the slideshow below to see the top 10, and be sure to click over to Prevention.com for the full list. The closer a city on this list scores to 100, the better it is for walking. Then, tell us in the comments if you agree or disagree, and if your city made the list.

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