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America's Top 10 Fittest Cities

America's Top 10 Fittest (and Not so Fit) Cities

I was pleased that Men's Health ranked San Francisco, my city by the bay, the leanest city in the US. It's a great place to live, eat, and work out. The parks, the bike routes, not to mention the infamous hills all provide excellent fitness opportunities pretty much 365 days a year.

Not to be outdone by a magazine, the American College of Sports Medicine recently published its American Fitness Index for 2010, ranking our nation's most and least fit cities. The index considers 30 factors including the city population's disease rates, how many servings of fruits and veggies people eat, and the number of parks, golf courses, and pools. Check out the rankings below and note that next to each city, you'll find an overall score with 100 being the best.

Top 10 Fittest Cities in America

10. Austin, TX: 63.9
9. Hartford, CT: 64.4
8. San Francisco, CA: 64.7
7. Sacramento, CA: 65.8
6. Denver, CO: 69.9
5. Portland, OR: 70.4
4. Seattle, WA: 70.5
3. Minneapolis, MN: 71.7
2. Boston, MA: 72.6

Want to see the number one fittest city in America, and also the top 10 Most Sluggish Cities? Then

.

1. Washington, D.C.: 73.5

Top 10 Most Sluggish Cities in America

10. New Orleans, LA: 37.7
9. Houston, TX: 37.6
8. San Antonio, TX: 36.9
7. Indianapolis, IN: 35.9
6. Las Vegas, NV: 35.5
5. Louisville, KY: 32.5
4. Detroit, MI: 31.9
3. Memphis, TN: 31.6
2. Birmingham, AL: 31.2
1. Oklahoma City, OK: 24.3

If you're interested in seeing the complete list, you can download the PDF from the American College of Sports Medicine.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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JenniferIsabella JenniferIsabella 5 years
I just graduated from college in DC and will be working there for the next few years. People ARE very healthy. The yoga class I go to is ALWAYS full and there are so many sports clubs, yoga/pilates and other fitness classes available. In certain parts of the city, there are as many gyms and yoga studios as there are Starbucks. Not to mention, there are a ton of runners in the city and that's why there are so many 5-10K races and marathons in the city. Much of the reason for this is because many people in the city are highly educated due the high percentage of people either in college or are working for the government or the number of non-profits, think tanks, financial firms, and consultancies. It's also a VERY young city. If you walk down the street, most of the people you pass by are under 30.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
I'm with lilkimbo on this one. I walk a ton, and there's so many green spaces around here it's hard to NOT want to exercise.
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 5 years
Hooray Seattle! I agree... not only are we one of the most intellectual cities in the country, we're also one of the fittest. There's a beautiful park in literally every neighborhood sect in Seattle, and our city is surrounded by water and mountains. Last Sunday I went on a 7-mile hike on the Tiger Mountain Trail with a bunch of friends, and it was literally 25 minutes from the city.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 5 years
KC, maybe D.C. has changed since you lived here! Almost no one I know drives and people do take the metro, but a lot of people also bike (for leisure and commute) and a lot of people I know walk when the weather allows it, but hop on the metro or bus when it's raining, snowing, or extremely hot/humid (no one wants to arrive at work all sweaty!). I also think it's worth noting that these scores are based on entire metropolitan areas, not just the cities, so places like Fairfax county would balance out some of the lower-income neighborhoods in D.C.
kcmosinki kcmosinki 5 years
I moved from DC to Boston and I really do not believe that its the fittest city. People drive everywhere or take the metro. i lived in a nice part of town (by the zoo) and the only walking I ever did was to my local starbucks which was literally 1 block away. and there are many (low income) neighborhoods where obesity, smoking, poor living conditions and drug use are very rampant. Niami, you're so right about Boston. I moved to Boston 6 years ago for my undergrad and people walked everywhere, all the time. I now walk everywhere too, except in extreme weather (think blizzards or torrential rain). I have definitely toned up since then.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 5 years
Minneapolis! Whoop! Whoop! =)
Niami Niami 5 years
The first thing I noticed when I moved to Boston was that everyone walks, bikes or runs. The city is very pedestrian friendly and the Charles River has an awesome paved and safe path that goes along each side. The second thing I noticed when I moved to Boston is that I appeared to be the only overweight person in the city! I never saw fat people! I think D.C. is #1 most likely because it is also pedestrian friendly and possibly because the people that work there have access to better health care than most! :P
clearskies clearskies 5 years
Awesome my hometown is the # 4 for fittest and my husbands hometown is the #4 for most sluggish! Opposites attract! ;) Interesting to see Boston and washington D.C. at the top, I wonder what their strong points were.
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