America has a new “fittest city”

After three years at the top of the fitness rankings, Washington, D.C. has been dethroned and a new champion crowned.

(NBC News) Washington, D.C. topped the list of America’s fittest cities for three years in a row, until now.

Minneapolis and St. Paul rank at the top of the list of the 50 “Fittest Cities” according to the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

Putting the cold aside, minnesotans simply bundle up and head outside to ski, sled and jog…whatever it takes to be physically active.

“I like to walk, even outside in the winter because it’s gorgeous, even here, in the winter,” says Minneapolis resident Rumen Hulmequist.

The annual report looks at heart disease and diabetes rates, smoking, availability of farmer’s markets and whether cities are investing in natural areas where residents can exercise.

That’s one reason the Twin Cities pushed Washington down to the #2 spot this year.

“Washington, D.C. didn’t pay as much attention to its parks,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke of the American College of Sports Medicine. “Not enough of an investment there.”

San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose round out the top five.

Compared to last year 16-percent more people nationwide are getting enough aerobic exercise, and there was a 10-percent drop in diagnosed chest pain or heart disease.

Still, obesity has risen, as have deaths from diabetes, and fewer people say they’re in “optimal” health.

At the bottom of the list were Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Louisville.

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