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Life's Too Short... so make the most of it! Try something new, eat something healthy, grow something beautiful, hug someone you love, move around a lot, and be kind to yourself. Melanie Cole brings you the best tips from lifestyle and fitness experts, including guests from the American College of Sports Medicine.

2017 American Fitness Index

From the Show: Life's Too Short
Summary: Learn how you can make yourself and your city more physically fit.
Air Date: 5/23/17
Duration: 23:31
Guest Bio: Walt Thompson, PhD
Dr. Walt ThompsonWalter R. Thompson, PhD, FACSM, is a regents professor of exercise science in the Department of Kinesiology and Health (College of Education) at Georgia State University and in the Division of Nutrition (Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions), where he also serves as the executive director of the After-School All-Stars Atlanta.

He has served on the ACSM Board of Trustees and was twice elected a member of its Administrative Council.
The ACSM’s yearly American Fitness Index compares fitness levels across the nation.

The report is a combination of personal health indicators and community/environmental indicators. Cities are scored, and the top 50 cities are ranked.

Indicators measured are things that can be changed. Smog and other factors that can’t be altered right away by individuals or city councils are not measured for the ranking.

The top city for 2017 is Minneapolis. One element of personal fitness scoring is having exercised in the past 30 days. A whopping 81 percent of Minneapolis residents reported such activity. Washington D.C. came in second at 78 percent. Minneapolis spends $211 per person for their parks in order to keep them available and safe for exercise during winter months.

Cities that rank in the bottom five tend to have lower personal fitness achievements. Obesity, smoking, lack of exercise and high death rate from cardiovascular disease are also common factors for these cities. Park expenditures are lower and these communities don’t always provide physical education through high school, impacting community health.

Visit American Fitness Index to investigate how your city measures. You can also use the Community Action Plan for ideas on how you can make personal change and community impact. Use the scores to change your community.

Listen as ACSM President Elect Dr. Walt Thompson joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share how to improve your city’s ranking in the American Fitness Index.

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