The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released its 2015 report naming the nation's fittest cities. To rank the cities, the American Fitness Index took into account each city's obesity, smoking, and diabetes rates, as well as environmental factors like acres of parkland, walkability, and the number of farmers' markets in the area.
Researchers looked at data from the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
For the second year in a row, the nation's capital secured the top spot. Ample public parks for recreation, an increasing number of farmers' markets per resident, and a decreasing diabetes death rate helped Washington, D.C. retain its title as the fittest city in America.
2. Minneapolis, MN
Coming in at number two, Minneapolis, Minnesota, boasts an increasing number of farmers markets and a high level of walkability to recreational spaces, with 92 percent of its residents within a 10 minute walk of a park.
3. San Diego, CA
A high number of acres of parkland and high park-related spending per capita, combined with decreasing asthma rates and lower death rates from diabetes and heart disease landed San Diego at number three on the list.
4. San Francisco, CA
San Francisco has ranked among the top 10 fittest metropolitan areas since 2009. Strengths of the city include decreased smoking rates, decreased death rates from diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and nearly double the number of farmers' markets in the last five years.
5. Sacramento, CA
Rounding out the top five is yet another city in the Golden State. Sacramento's high number of recreational facilities per resident including playgrounds, dog parks, and park units helped secure its spot on the list.
6. Denver, CO
Denver is another city that has made it in the top 10 since 2009. The number of farmers' markets has more than doubled in the past five years and the city is investing more in parks. Denver also has a decreasing cardiovascular death rate.
7. Portland, OR
Portland, Oregon, has slipped a bit in the rankings this year, but a high percentage of park-related expenditures and an increasing number of residents bicycling or walking to work helped the city land the number seven spot.
8. Seattle, WA
Declining death rates from diabetes and heart disease, as well as a high percentage of residents biking, walking, and using public transportation to get to work, helped make Seattle the eighth fittest city in America.
9. Boston, MA
The city of Boston is investing more money in parks, and an increasing number of farmers' markets have popped up in the past five years. A high percentage of residents using public transportation and decreasing diabetes and cardiovascular disease death rates kept the city in the top 10 for the sixth consecutive year.
10. San Jose, CA
San Jose has invested more money in recreational spaces in recent years with an increased number of swimming pools, ball fields, and tennis courts.
11. Hartford, CT
The city of Hartford has ranked among the top 12 fittest cities in the U.S. since 2009. Highlights in recent years include a high number of recreational facilities per resident, including ball diamonds, golf courses, and park playgrounds. The number of acres of parkland has also increased since 2009.
12. Salt Lake City, UT
Though the national rate of people who reported exercising in the last 30 days dropped by more than 10 percent in this year's survey, residents of Salt Lake City have been more physically active. The city has also seen more farmers' markets and an increased number of people taking public transportation to work.
13. Raleigh, NC
Raleigh has seen decreasing death rates from both diabetes and heart disease in recent years, as well as a decrease in the number of residents living with angina or coronary heart disease, earning it a spot on the fittest cities list.
14. Atlanta, GA
Atlanta improved its ranking and landed at number 14 this year, thanks in part to an increased number of recreational facilities, including golf courses, recreation centers, swimming pools, and tennis courts.
15. Virginia Beach, VA
Ranking at #15, Virginia Beach boasts high levels of park-related expenditures, a high number of acres of parkland, and an increasing number of recreational facilities, including playgrounds, parks, and ball diamonds.
American Fitness Index rankings
Take a look at how the rest of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country ranked in the American Fitness Index: