Experience Life Magazine

Who’s the Fittest of Them All?

The American College of Sports Medicine released its annual list of fittest U.S. cities this week.

trail running

Physical activity is just one of the factors used in ranking the fittest U.S. cities, says the ACSM.

The American College of Sports Medicine released its seventh annual list of fittest U.S. cities this week, placing Washington, D.C., squarely at the top of the list.

The D.C. Metro area, which includes parts of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, earned an overall score of 77.3 — edging out Minneapolis-St. Paul, which garnered a score of 73.5.

Washington and the Twin Cities have been locked in a friendly rivalry since the ACSM introduced its Fitness Index in 2008, holding the top two spots for six of the last seven years.

These and other cities were evaluated based on such factors as activity levels, number of famers markets, number of smokers, diabetes death rate, community health practices, unemployment rate, health insurance coverage, and accessibility to public parks.

Several California cities were ranked among the nation’s fittest cities. The least fit cities included Memphis, Louisville, and Oklahoma City. (See the full list here.)

Top 10 Fittest U.S. Cities — 2014:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Minneapolis—St. Paul
  3. Portland, Oreg.
  4. Denver, Colo.
  5. San Francisco, Calif.
  6. San Jose, Calif.
  7. Seattle, WA
  8. San Diego, Calif.
  9. Boston, Mass.
  10. Sacramento, Calif.

Maggie Fazeli Fard is Experience Life's staff writer. She formerly lived in Washington, D.C., and currently resides in Minneapolis.

Related Content



Be Strong

Strength training isn’t just for building muscle anymore: It’s an all-in-one…continued


Community Counts

Community Counts

Rebuilding a sense of neighborliness has become its own revolutionary act. Here’s why…continued



The Power of Habit

New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg explores the scientific research about habitual…continued

News & Views


Don’t Just Sit There!

Research shows that being sedentary for long stretches might be one of the unhealthiest things…continued


Nature-Deficit Disorder

A generation ago, kids learned about the natural world by going out to play. Today, many have…continued

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

City and state are only displayed in our print magazine if your comment is chosen for publication.

Experience Life welcomes your comments and suggestions. We simply ask that they be on topic and respectful of the conversation. Here's our full comment policy.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>