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TheStreet Open House

5 Fittest Cities in America

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Whether you're training to win an Olympic medal or simply hoping to develop a good beach body, here's a look at the five top U.S. cities to move to get in shape.

"These cities are the best choices for people who either want to be become physically active or maintain an active lifestyle," says Dr. Walt Thompson, a Georgia State University researcher who oversees the American College of Sports Medicine's annual American Fitness Index.

The AFI analyzes the country's 50 largest metro areas for 17 health-related factors, from smoking rates to the number of swimming pools per 100,000 residents.

Thompson says the study provides a good picture of not only which cities have health-conscious residents, but also of those that offer the most parks, farmer's markets and other amenities that make fitness easier to achieve.

"These cities all have kinds of the environments that support healthy behaviors," he says.

Click below to check out the five communities that topped this year's AFI.

The American College of Sports Medicine prepared the rankings using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other public and private agencies.

Each city's score represents the average of how it rated on all 17 factors that researchers studied (a locale would have to come in first place in all areas to score a perfect 100).

All health statistics refer to residents of a community's entire metro area, but figures on local fitness facilities refer only to those within city limits. The term "average" refers to averages among the 50 cities studied.

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