Minneapolis-St. Paul kicked Washington D.C. out of the top spot for healthiest city in the nation in a recent evaluation, according to a Health.com article.
The 2011 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) used the American Fitness Index (AFI) to evaluate the 50 fittest metro areas in the U.S. by giving a “score” based on different health and fitness factors. Each city had its own strengths and weaknesses whether it scored the highest or the lowest, but the Twin Cities came out on top at 77.2 out of 100, boosted by less smoking and more exercise than in previous years. Last year’s “winner,” Washington D.C., came out 2nd this time with 76.8, followed by Boston (69.1), Portland, Ore. (67.7), and Denver (67.6). The lowest-ranking areas on the list were Memphis, Tenn. (32.9), Louisville, Ken. (29), and Oklahoma City (24.6).
Evaluators noted that regardless of whether a place ranked high or low, each had areas to work on and some for which to be congratulated. The goal was to encourage these areas to continue moving toward healthy, active lifestyles and improving their eating habits.
As summer approaches, don’t just escape the heat indoors. Wear some sunscreen, invest in some bug spray and get outside. Here are some low-cost activities you can do, whether the rest of your city is healthy or not:
- Write down a list of plants (flowers, trees, etc.) that are native to your area, and try to locate one of each.
- Run through the sprinkler in your front yard. Add a few water guns to the mix and invite some neighbors! (Note: If your city has water restrictions, please do not violate them for the sake of a little fun!)
- Bust out the old roller blades and see how far you can go before stopping for a fruit smoothie.
- Visit a farmer’s market and pick up some fresh, local produce for dinner.
- Go running. You’re going to work up a sweat anyway, so you might as well burn some calories while you’re at it! Just be sure to drink plenty of water.
- Bring a camera and a friend to a visually interesting part of town for a photo shoot.
Do you have a favorite summertime activity?