TODAY   |  January 20, 2014

Secrets of America’s healthiest city

NBC’s Craig Melvin travels to the city named America’s healthiest to talk to residents about the importance of nutrition and exercise.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to a new series here, "healthy wealthy wives," we take you to the top cities in the country when it comes to those places. craig melvin is here with more.

>> good morning, carson daly . healthiest city in the u.s.

>> los angeles .

>> not l.a., not miami, nor malibu. amid the snow coats and ear muffs , minneapolis - st. paul , minnesota. in the twin cities , subzero doesn't slow them down. do you know how cold it is?

>> negative 14 windchill.

>> these runners get in at least four miles every day.

>> can't let the weather stop you, you have to continue doing it otherwise it's going to be a long winter.

>> reporter: this is part of the way you keep fit .

>> survival.

>> reporter: another hot winter activity.

>> last year the coldest day of the year, it was negative 30 and i actually was working as a courier that day. riding about 45 miles that day.

>> reporter: minneapolis - st. paul second only to portland, oregon. there's a winding 53-mile trail to ride, walk or run that surrounds the twin cities . but the jewel in the city's fitness crown its parks and recreation system.

>> there's a park within six blocks of every person in minneapolis .

>> reporter: that's more public parks per square mile than any major city in america . and there's always something happening at them. from a 5k in negative 9-degree weather and zumba for folks trying to stay in shape. to a city wide program for those learning their shapes.

>> get a little exercise. we have a nice apartment, but who could beat a gym?

>> for $2 or $3, toddlers get to basically run around in the gym that's turn into a playground. if a parent can't afford it, minneapolis picks up the tab.

>> part of the reason we do this is this is what gets them going early. so they keep doing healthy activities the rest of their lives.

>> we're going to do 4 cups.

>> reporter: there's also an effort to teach how to eat and cook nutritiously early in life.

>> women love a man who can cook.

>> trust me, i know.

>> reporter: a 44-year-old community group called urban roots works with high schoolers with zip codes to determine healthy options.

>> larger chain grocery stores with better prices are few and far between. and transportation for a lot of east siders can be a real challenge. they learn how to grow food. we have six gardens here on the east side that the youth help plan, plant, maintain, harvest --

>> overall, the twin cities gets high marks for access to fresh food. another reason minneapolis - st. paul has topped the american fitness index three years in a row.

>> there are twice as many farmers markets in that area than in the top 10% of our cities.

>> reporter: and people can find ways to stay healthy almost anywhere, even at the largest mall in america . these mall stars circle five days a week.

>> 95 3/4. how much do you think the mall walking has helped you?

>> i would hate to be without it.

>> from the young at heart to young of body. proving they don't need the weather to be the fittest city in america .

>> and you were there a few weeks ago.

>> i was. and, you know, it was 50 below at the windchill.

>> did you walk in the mall like everybody else?

>> i thought about it. because it's this huge enclosed space.

>> good mileage there.

>> a lot of mall walkers . tomorrow, we'll visit the wealthiest city in america .

>> can you give us a hint?

>> not beverly hills .

>> not los angeles .

>> interesting.

>> east coast ?

>> no. but not west coast either.

>> come on.

>>> all right. coming up next, the best anti-aging treatment for under $100.