Considering a move to a fitter town? Or wondering how your city ranks against the rest of the country? Check out these results.
Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine releases a ranking of the 100 largest cities in the U.S. based on their health and fitness initiatives. The resulting ASCM American Fitness Index is calculated using 33 indicators, such as personal health behaviors of residents (exercise, healthy eating, smoking), recreational facilities (swimming pools, tennis courts), community/environment (farmers markets, parks), and more. In 2018, the health-minded state of California had four cities in the top 15, but others on this list may surprise you—including the top spot.
15. Boston, Massachusetts
Despite its brutal winters, Boston ranked second on the list for residents walking or biking to work, as well as fourth in walkability and second for parks within a 10-minute walk. This summer, the Boston Harborwalk launched a free public fitness program called HarborFit, offering free workouts like kayaking, yoga, Zumba, boot camp, and group runs several times per week. The city’s Emerald Necklace Conservancy, comprised of six parks, also provides many options for fitness activities, from hiking to golf to softball.
14. San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate City took top honors on the index for most parks within a 10-minute walk, and also for vegetable consumption; 27.5 percent of residents get at least three servings a day. It also ranked among the top 10 cities for walkability, walking or biking to work, aerobic activity, and lowest rates of heart disease. One of the best ways to sightsee is via bicycle, and Ford GoBike, the area’s newest bike share system, makes it fun and affordable. The city also claims to be the top bike rental destination in the country. Check out the most bike-friendly city in every single state.