D.C. is second fittest city in the U.S.

May 25, 2011

The high percentage of people who bike or walk to work helps make the D.C. area one of the fittest in the country. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) American Fitness Index, the greater Washington metro area was edged out by Minneapolis-St.Paul.

The scores are based on nationwide polls conducted by the ACSM on on factors like community health practices, instances of exercise, health insurance coverage and accessibility to public parks, among others.

Both regions scored well for their high activity levels, high number of farmers markets, low number of smokers, low diabetes death rate and low unemployment as compared with other major U.S. cities.

The Twin Cities beat out the DMV when it came to land dedicated to dog parks, playgrounds and golf courses.

Other nearby cities also fared well in the index, with Virginia Beach coming in at No. 9, Richmond at No. 12 and Baltimore at No. 20.

Last on the index was Oklahoma City, which only had two strengths — low unemployment and more acres of parkland per capita — but 24 so-called “challenges,” including higher percentages of people who smoke, are obese, die of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.

More local health and fitness news:

Summer fitness and ad­ven­ture destinations in the D.C. region

Baked, broiled fish lower heart failure risk among women

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More from PostLocal:

D.C. area trails beckon walkers, bikers

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