Friday, June 11, 2010

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A new American Fitness Index report, published by the American College of Sports Medicine, has revealed survey results from America’s largest metropolitan areas. Ranking 50 communities by fitness levels, obesity rate and 30 other factors came up with a few surprises.

In the top 10, there are 2 in the East, 1 Midwest, 1 South, and 6 in the West. San Francisco, although ranked #8 had the lowest obesity rate at 18.4%, while Minneapolis, ranked #3, had the highest exercise rate. Is your city among the elite?

1. Washington, D.C.

* Overall Score: 73.5
* Obesity Rate: 22.6%
* Exercise Rate: 80.1 %

Given the sedentary rate of bureaucrats, you wouldn’t think of this as the #1 city, but this East Coast metropolis likes its veggies and farmers markets, has a low percentage of population with diabetes or heart rate, and has a high ratio of parks to residents.

2. Boston, Massachusetts

* Overall Score: 72.6
* Obesity Rate: 19.9%
* Exercise Rate: 78.6%

One of the few states that mandates health insurance, residents enjoy a high rate of health care providers, parks and recreation offerings, and keep smoking to a minimum.

3. Minneapolis, Minnesota

* Overall Score: 71.7
* Obesity Rate: 29.5%
* Exercise Rate: 84.3%

The higher obesity rate is offset by a physically active community, where people cycle to work and love to play golf and tennis.

4. Seattle, Washington

* Overall Score: 70.5
* Obesity Rate: 22.8%
* Exercise Rate: 81.9%

This is an area with abundant parkland and outdoor activities, from boating on one of the lakes or bays, to cycling and jogging.

5. Portland, Oregon

* Overall Score: 70.4
* Obesity Rate: 23.9%
* Exercise Rate: 82.3%

Public transit is big in this Northwest area and is used in conjunction with walking and cycling. There is also a lower percentage of smokers and people affected with diabetes.

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