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Top 10 Fittest Cities Revealed

Posted by on May. 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM
  • 6 Replies

Top 10 Fittest Cities Revealed: How Does Yours Shape Up?

by Maressa Brown

san francisco marathonIn our efforts to be a fitter country, we're constantly pointing fingers at junk food and our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Of course those factors matter, but where we live can often contribute to how healthy we are, too. Consider whether our cities offer access to health care, parks to run in, recreational facilities to work out in, walking trails to hike, or farmers' markets where residents can buy fresh produce. Those factors and more were exactly what compiled by the American College of Sports Medicine -- looked at to come up with the annual American Fitness Index. AKA a rundown of the top fittest cities.

Here, the top 10 ... See if your city made the cut!

10. San Jose

This Cali city made the cut by having more farmers' markets per capita, higher percentage of people eating 5+ fruits/veggies a day, and lots of parks. 

9. Hartford

A high percent of Hartford-ites are at least moderately physically active, and they've also got more ball diamonds, tennis courts, park units, rec centers, and swimming pools per capita.

8. Seattle

My sister used to live in the Emerald City, and I'd always be jealous hearing about her lush, green surroundings and mild weather, which really do seem to lend themselves to getting outside and staying fit! Turns out the city wins points for having more people use public transportation, bike or walk to work, or have a dog park to head out to per capita.

7. Sacramento

More park playgrounds per capita, biking and walking to work, dog parks, ball diamonds, and rec centers got Sacramento into the top 10.

6. Boston

Having health insurance (thanks, Romneycare!) and farmers' markets as well as a higher percentage of the city as parkland makes Bostonians more fit. 

5. Denver

With more people per capita more physically active (at least moderately) and loads of parks, it's no wonder people living in Denver have a lower rate of death from diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

4. San Francisco

Known for its crazy steep hills, it almost seems impossible to NOT be fit living -- and walking! -- in this city. But SF also scored points for having fewer people who are smokers, a high percentage of the city as parkland, and more primary care health providers per capita, etc.

3. Portland

They may be teased for having the most organic, CSA-lovin' hipsters per capita, but "Portlandia" also boasts lots of farmers' markets, folks who bike or walk or take public transportation to work, golf courses, tennis courts, ball diamonds, and dog parks galore.

2. Washington, D.C.

Having more dog parks per capita, swimming pools, and other park areas is just the beginning of healthy pros our nation's capital has going for it. D.C. residents also boast a lower percent of days when mental health was not good over the past 30 days!

1. Minneapolis

Minneapolis made it to the top slot by putting "their resources where residents can use them effectively to maintain a high level of physical activity," says Walt Thompson, chairman of the advisory board who created the index and a professor of exercise physiology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. They also did better than other cities by spending double the amount of money on parks per capita ($227 a person) as some other cities.

by on May. 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM
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Replies (1-6):
by on May. 31, 2013 at 9:44 AM
I'm pretty sure the big cities around me (Tampa and Orlando) are some of the most overweight cities.
by on May. 31, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Woohoo! I live in it here! :)
by Silver Member on May. 31, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Yes ! I'm on the list.
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by Barbara on May. 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Woohoo! Twin Cities are number one! I love the amount of park space here, even though I'm in the middle of a major metro area. 

by Bronze Member on May. 31, 2013 at 2:42 PM
I'm gonna take a little credit for Minneapolis being #1...
by on May. 31, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Mine's so-so. We have lots of trails, several Farmer's markets and lots of parks. At least, for the size of our city, we have a lot. The trails all interconnect and go for several miles. They also have bike paths on a lot of the roads. 

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