The American College of Sports Medicine recently released its 2017 American Fitness Index Report, which ranked the top 50 metropolitan areas in the United States from fittest to least fit. For the purpose of the study, ACSM used metropolitan areas rather than cities and ranked these areas based on various personal and community health indicators. See a full explanation of their methodology here.
Did your city earn "fitness fanatic" status? Click through the slides below to find out.
10. San Diego, CAOverall Score: 65.6 1 of 11
San Diego keeps its hold on the #10 spot this year and can continue to boast about its perks: miles of white, sandy beaches, amazing weather and a city culture that encourages activity.
With a high percentage of people biking and walking to work, San Diego scored well by having more acres of parkland per capita. The city also received favorable marks for its high percentage of residents meeting CDC aerobic activity guidelines, high number of residents engaging in physical exercise in the past 30 days and a low percentage of obesity.
9. Salt Lake City, UTOverall Score: 66.3 2 of 11
Salt Lake City drops one spot to #9 this year, but its majestic mountain ranges, gorgeous summers and plenty of fresh snow for winter sports make this city a great fit for an active lifestyle.
With one of the youngest populations (thanks to a high birth rate), Salt Lake City also has a high percentage of residents meeting CDC aerobic and strength activity guidelines, a low percentage of residents are smokers and a high percentage are in excellent or very good health.
8. Portland, OROverall Score: 67.7 3 of 11
When you think of Portland, you might picture a hip, unique city that's celebrated for its craft beers, emerging artists and amazing coffee. But it also features dozens of waterfalls, more than 100 great hikes of all difficulty levels and some truly incredible scenery.
These lush, outdoor spaces encourage the city's citizens to stay fit and healthy, and though it slides a bit in the rankings this year (from #4 to #8), areas of excellence include farmers markets per capita, a high percentage of people meeting both CDC strength and activity guidelines and a high percentage of people consuming three-plus vegetables a day. Portland's public transportation and number of residents biking and walking to work also added to an overall high score.
7. Denver, COOverall Score: 71.5 4 of 11
Falling a few slots this year to #7, the Mile High city still makes a strong showing in ACSM rankings. With one of the most walkable downtowns in the nation, a stunning view of over 200 visible mountain peaks and close to 300 days of sunshine each year, this city seems built to encourage fitness.
Denver boasts a high percentage of people meeting both CDC aerobic and strength activity guidelines, a high percentage of people in excellent or very good health, a low rate of obesity and a high percentage of residents getting seven-plus hours of sleep a night.
6. Boston, MAOverall Score: 71.5 5 of 11
One of the oldest cities in the U.S. is also one of the healthiest. Known for its renowned institutions of higher education, delicious seafood and major league sports teams, Boston is also one of the most walkable cities in the country. Many citizens choose to utilize the city's public transportation or bike or walk to work.
Boston also has a high number of park playgrounds per capita, more farmers markets than other cities and a high percentage of residents in excellent or very good health.
5. San Jose, CAOverall Score: 71.6 6 of 11
Jumping six spots to #5 on the list this year is the "Capital of Silicon Valley." San Jose is on a mission to improve not only the health of its citizens, but the health of the earth as well—the "Bring Your Own Bag" ordinance of 2012 prohibits stores from providing plastic carryout bags.
The city helps encourage its residents to stay in excellent health by providing more recreation centers per capita and boasting a low percentage of obesity, smoking and a high percentage of people exercising in the last 30 days.
4: Seattle, WAOverall Score: 72.2 7 of 11
Moving up two slots to the #4 position is Seattle. You may be inclined to think that the 152 days of rain each year puts a damper on the level of physical activity that its citizens enjoy, but its superb location between the Puget Sound and the Cascade mountain range makes for some spectacular outdoor adventures. And the birthplace of Starbucks also has plenty of coffee shops to keep you caffeinated as you hit the trails.
With a high percentage of people meeting the CDC aerobic and strength activity guidelines, a large percentage of parkland as city area and a high percentage of people bicycling or walking to work, Seattle is a great place to be active.
3. San Francisco, CAOverall Score: 73.3 8 of 11
San Francisco replaces Denver this year as the 3rd fittest city in the nation. Cool summers, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and eclectic architecture are all part of the unique culture of this active city. Citizens can enjoy walking along the waterfront or pushing their limits on the steep rolling hills of San Francisco's streets.
The city also scores points for having a high percentage of residents within a 10-minute walk to a park, a high percentage meeting the CDC aerobic and strength guidelines and plenty of farmer's markets to help residents consume three-plus vegetables per day.
2. Washington, D.C.Overall Score: 79.2 9 of 11
The nation's capital may be one of the most diverse cities in our country, but staying active seems to be one of the things that everyone there has in common. The city boasts a high percentage of people using public transportation, a high percentage walking and biking to work, a low percentage of people smoking and a high percentage of residents in excellent or very good health.
And it's not just the physical health of its citizens that scores tops marks: The people of D.C. had a superior score for their mental health as well.
1. Minneapolis, MNOverall Score: 80.2 10 of 11
Knocking D.C. out of the top spot to take the win, Minneapolis earns the coveted title of "The Fittest City in the U.S." for 2017. Perhaps it's the cycle-friendly urban center or the 22 lakes in the metropolitan area that encourages residents to stay fit. Or maybe it's the Minneapolis Skyway (an indoor pedestrian walkway system that spans 69 blocks and seven miles) that allows city dwellers to stay active even in infamous Minnesota winters.
Whatever the reason, the residents of the Twin Cities are some of the nation's fittest. The city can brag about getting more sleep (a high percentage of residents get 7-plus hours a day), meeting the CDC aerobic and strength guidelines, and having a low percentage of diabetes in the population.