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The Fittest Cities In The US

These Cities Are Into Being Fit Where you live can have a big impact on your health. The American College of Sports Medicine just released its rankings of the...

These Cities Are Into Being Fit

Where you live can have a big impact on your health. The American College of Sports Medicine just released its rankings of the fittest U.S. cities, and it turns out cities that prioritize outside exercise and discourage long commutes, among other factors, have better health outcomes for residents.

“Some cities just make it easy to be fit. Parks everywhere, easy access to bike paths, clean air and the whole bit,” Men’s Health reports. “This year, Arlington, Virginia claims the number-one spot as the Fittest City, according to the 2019 American Fitness Index, compiled by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.”

The Pacific Northwest is the fittest region of America, with cities like Seattle (the second-fittest city), San Francisco, and Portland all gracing the top ten. The Upper Midwest is apparently a great place to get fit as well–major metropolises Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Madison, Wisconsin, came in third and fifth place, respectively.

The study factored in things like access to farmer’s markets, the number of parks, and other measures of fitness besides residents’ average BMI, which has been used to compile other lists of the fittest cities.

“The report ranks 100 cities, not by residents’ body fat percentages or VO2max; the investigators look at 33 different indicators of how to fit the city is, factoring in facets of individual health—like how often people exercise and whether they report that they’re in good or excellent health—and including community health indicators as well, like how close you live to a park, your proximity to fresh fruits and vegetables, and recreational facilities in the area,” Men’s Health reports. Factors that discourage exercise and healthy eating, like high rates of pedestrian fatalities, detracted from individual cities’ scores.

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