Baltimore, the fittest city?
The people at Men's Fitness are good journalists and they often write interesting and thought provoking articles, but their annual "Fittest City" list is becoming a joke. This year's list sacrifices accuracy for controversy in my mind, likely with the hope of creating more buzz and publicity for the magazine.
According to their "study", the Top 10 Fittest U.S. cities are:
7. San Francisco
6. Colorado Springs
3. Virginia Beach
and America's Fittest City...
Baltimore !! ? C'mon. We do have several endurance junkie friends that live in the Charm City, but I can't tell you how many times they complain about having difficulty finding local training groups/partners, good cycling routes, and traffic-free running routes.
Baltimore may have a lot of open space and parks, and the local government may be organizing "get fit" programs, but these criteria certainly do not mean that Baltimoreans today (as the survey suggests) are fitter and healthier than the rest of their American brethren.
Do you mean to tell me that the home of the greasy crab cake and fried red snapper sports more per capita runners than Boston? or more outdoorsmen/women than Portland, Oregon? ...or more cyclists than San Diego? ...or healthier people than Denver? With all due respect to our BWI friends, not a chance.
I would also argue that Lousiville and Milwaukee have no business being in the Top 10 either. As a health and fitness research company ourselves, we can testify that finding great fitness options in Baltimore, Louisville, and Milwaukee was a much harder task than for many other cities not in Men's Fitness' Top 10. Even Chicago, which is rated the "Fattest" city, offers better and more fitness options than the aforementioned three mis-fits.
Take the survey for what it's worth--a publicity stunt to sell magazines and advertising space. And if you really want to live in one of America's Fittest cities, come to San Diego and see for yourself how many professional athletes live here and why--despite Men's Fitness' contention that the city is in the top 25 of the Fattest.