Washington often earns props for being one of the fittest cities in the nation. But year after year, we always miss out on being number one—and this year is no different.
The American College of Sports Medicine recently released its annual report, the “ACSM American Fitness Index,” which ranks the health and fitness levels of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the US. For the third year in a row, the committee deemed the area of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington, Minnesota, as the healthiest in the nation. Washington, DC, came in second, earning just 0.5 fewer points.
ACSM last gave Washington the number one spot in 2010; starting in 2011 the Twin Cities area took over the top ranking.
So what can we do to snag that top spot next year? The ACSM committee noted various areas of improvement for Washington, including its high diabetes rate and fewer acres of parkland, playgrounds, and golf courses per capita.
Still, we scored major points for our low death rates from heart disease and lower percentage of reported days when mental health was “not good” during the past 30 days. In addition, the committee gave a nod to our higher percentage of commuters who travel by foot and bike, plus the fact that we have more farmers markets per capita.
Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, California, and Denver, Colorado, rounded out the top five.
The full report is available at ACSM’s website.