On Sunday, more than 45,000 spandex-clad, bib-wearing athletes will take to the streets of New York City to paticipate in the world’s largest marathon. A feat of fitness and endurance, the marathon is one of the most revered events in mainstream competitive sports today. Last year, some half a million runners crossed a marathon finish line.
But where are all these super-athletes living? To rank the fitness level of American cities, we turned to two of the most trusted sources on the topic. The American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index is produced annually with the WellPoint Foundation to scientifically assess the health, fitness, and quality of life of metro areas across the country. From its research, we included the percentage of residents who were physically active in the last month, the percentage who are considered to be in very good or excellent health, and the percentage who are categorized as obese. In addition, we considered where each city ranked on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which analyzes the health of the American population in the categories of physical well-being and healthy behavior.
Each of the five factors was weighted equally.