When it comes to being healthy and fit, those who live in and around our nation’s capital get the gold medal in 2016. For the third year in a row, Washington, DC, topped the annual American Fitness Index that is created by the American College of Sports Medicine. Following right behind the winning D.C. metropolitan area, which includes suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia, are Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver. Bringing up the rear as the least fit and healthy metro areas are Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Louisville. Designed by health and medical experts, the American Fitness Index assesses the health and fitness of the 50 largest U.S. cities, according to such factors as smoking, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health problems and access to health care. It also takes into account each city’s environment, including availability of parks, recreational facilities, walking trails and farmers’ markets. The three top metro areas won that honor due to increased walking by residents, more parkland for exercise and lower cardiovascular and diabetes issues. The Washington, DC, region’s lower rate of smoking tipped the scales in its favor.
The top 10 most healthy and fit U.S. cities and the metro areas:
The top 10 least healthy and fit U.S. cities:
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