We know our audience is full of highly motivated, active individuals who prioritize fitness in a major way. This lifestyle attracts others who live similarly, and from the perspective of our running clubs, cycling groups and other active social circles, you might think your city tops the “fittest cities” list.
And you might be right—the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released its 2021 American Fitness Index summary report (click here to see it for yourself), highlighting 100 of America’s fittest cities based on several specific parameters. This isn’t simply about how many IRONMAN finishers are in a given area or even the number of people who run more than once a week—it takes into account everything from health issues like cardiovascular disease or diabetes to food insecurity and diet choices, air quality, access to recreational facilities and more.
The goal of the report is to show the correlation of how chronic disease prevention is directly tied to regular physical activity and a supportive environment. This holistic approach isn’t just good for its people, “well-designed cities experience increased home values, retail activity and business and job growth, too.”
The Top 10
Arlington isn’t the only city with residents that deserve a gold star for exercising and eating healthy. The other nine runners up who round out the top 10 on the fitness index include:
- Arlington, Virginia
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Washington, D.C.
- St. Paul, Minnesota
- Irvine, California
- Portland, Oregon
Note: Minneapolis and Denver moved up this year to the No. 2 and No. 4 spots, whereas Seattle slipped to No. 3. Atlanta quietly moved into the No. 10 position this year, mostly due to its high rank on the “Meeting Aerobic & Strength Activity Guidelines” list.