Fittest city in America: Minneapolis-St. Paul
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has no twin when it comes to fitness, topping the AFI list for three years running.
Thompson says the Twin Cities rank No. 1 thanks to high levels of both fitness-friendly facilities and personal-health statistics.
For instance, the Minneapolis region has the lowest cardiovascular-disease-fatality rate of any city studied: 118.8 deaths per year for every 100,000 residents). The community also has one of the smallest percentages of people with angina/coronary heart disease, as well as some of the highest levels of residents who report "excellent" or "very good" health.
Additionally, Minneapolis residents have access to the highest per-capita number of baseball fields and recreation centers, as well as to above-average levels of dog parks, farmers' markets, golf courses, playgrounds, public parks and tennis courts.
Thompson says officials do a particularly good job of providing indoor facilities so locals can stay active during the winter. "They know it's going to be cold and snowy there three or four months a year, so they put resources into places where residents can exercise 365 days a year," he says.