The Center for Disease Control recently reported 34% of Americans are considered obese (a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater). But some cities are working to create a fitness-friendly environment with plenty of resources to keep residents active. Here are the most fit cities in the U.S., according to the American Fitness Index (AFI).
Residents here keep moving: 86% report they’ve done some physical activity in the past 30 days and 55% say they’re physically active, at least moderately, according to the American Fitness Index. An abundance of parks, bike trails and a light rail that keeps residents walking contribute to the Twin Cities 67% overall excellent health rating.
Washingtonians eat well and consume more than their fair share of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Only 13% of the city’s more than 5 million residents smoke, and Washingtonians like to exercise and have almost 20% of picturesque city parkland in which to flex their muscles.
It’s a safe bet that Boston, with its many health-care facilities, rates high in its percentage of insured residents, coming in at 94%. Parkland is prevalent, as are recreational facilities. A fairly recent interest in bike lanes keeps Beantown’s population on wheels recreationally or en route to work.
Having recently reinvented itself, Portland has created an abundance of safe, accessible parklands, walking paths and recreational areas that keep residents moving. The mountain/ coastline combination makes the area perfect for enjoying nature and the outdoors and a large number of farmers’ markets keep the natural theme alive nutritionally.
Set amid the Rocky Mountains, The Mile High City is perfectly suited to being outdoors. Biking and running are popular pastimes as are swimming, tennis and playing ball. The activities pay dividends: heart disease and diabetes are low and residents report overall good health.
This city proudly reports a dearth of smokers: only 8.8% light up, a rate among the lowest in the country. San Franciscans often walk to work and significant numbers hop on public transportation, both which contribute to the population’s high physical activity rating and overall good health.
Connecticut’s state capital offers parks and recreation facilities, which help residents keep on track with their physical activity. The insurance capital of the country provides residents with access to terrific health care facilities. Nutritionally, the city tops its competitors in its total number of farmers’ markets (41) and the percentage of residents (30%) who eat five-plus servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
Seattle residents enjoy exercise and are good about eating plentiful quantities of fruits and vegetables purchased from the city’s array of farmers’ markets. A selection of recreational facilities and parks (even for dogs) helps residents maintain overall good health and ward off asthma, angina, coronary heart disease and diabetes. The death rate for diabetes in the city is particularly low.
It may be on the water, but this metro area boasts a high percentage of residents who eat more than five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, contributing to the city’s excellent health record and low instance of heart disease and diabetes. Parkland and beach areas are plentiful, providing residents accessibility to the outdoors and opportunity to exercise.
Sacramento joins other winners with more than half of its two million residents fans of physical activity; many residents walk or cycle to work, and bike lanes and sidewalks are cyclist-friendly. Farmers markets abound and almost 30% of the population eats five plus portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
Obesity rates in the U.S. are among the highest in the world and while we are not a nation of small waistlines, some cities are bucking the trend.