July 26th, 2013

I’ve got some gendered activity ideas for your next trip to the Bay Area. I know that proposing separate activities for men and women is not really the thing to do in this day and age, but I’m going for it anyway because of a study out of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Bear with me, or at least wait until the end of these few little paragraphs to decide I’m a bigot.

Men, the next time you’re here, take a drive up to San Francisco. Watch the locals running up and down those huge hills, or, even worse, pushing bikes along the same paths. It looks awful, I know, but they’re getting through it. Pay attention, next, to all the dudes eating kale. Kale salad, kale chips, raw, unadulterated leaves of kale. We all know it doesn’t taste good, no matter what you do to it, but they’re eating it like it’s real food. Why am I asking you to do this, you ask? Because San Francisco has the lowest rate of obesity for men in the country. What the guys up there are doing may not look like a ton of fun, but it’s keeping them skinny.

Women, for you the drive will take you a little further up the coast. You’ll be taking a tour of Marin county. Check out a yoga class in Sepastapol, a dharma talk at the Green Gulch meditation center. Maybe take a long stroll along the beach. As you’re making this tour, take a look around at the local ladies. In their long, flowing layers, with their crystals and, really, maybe even a few bindis here and there, you may feel like you’re drowning in new age clichés, but before you dismiss them en masse, listen to this: Women in Marin County have a longer life expectancy than any other group in the nation.

Of course, women can run up hills and men can meditate. I guess the real point of this that sometimes all the California stereotypes work. Why not check a few out the next time you’re in town?

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