New Fitness Report Says We Need to Get in Shape, Dallas

This guy is maybe already where he needs to be, fitness-wise. You?   (photo by Louie Solomon)
This guy is maybe already where he needs to be, fitness-wise. You? (photo by Louie Solomon)

Today the American College of Sports Medicine released its 2014 American Fitness Index report, in which you’ll find a ranking of the country’s 50 biggest metropolitan statistical areas in terms of healthy living. Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot.

The headline for Dallas is that we finished 38th out of the 50. The method by which these rankings are calculated was revised so much this year that the press release for the study advised that no comparison be made to the results of past reports. But let’s do it anyway.

The AFI has been compiled since 2008, and these are Dallas’ rankings for each year beginning with the first: 32, 35, 40, 39, 47, 44. So it made no difference that in 2014 ACSM is factoring in new criteria, like Walkscore — our area has stayed right about where it’s always been.

Where it’s always been, according to the report, is below average on nearly every factor considered, including: percent of people who’ve exercised in the last month, death rate from cardiovascular disease, number of farmers’ markets, number of recreational facilities, and how much we spend on parks. So we’re not looking too good.

Coincidentally we recently began our own effort, here on DMagazine.com, to help encourage our readers to pursue active and fit lifestyles. Since we launched Be Well Dallas last week, we’ve already featured articles on the best pools, the best bike trails, the best (and worst) diets, tips for exercising outdoors through the summer heat, music to inspire your next workout, and even what Mark Cuban eats for breakfast. We’ve turned to local experts to provide and to guide these recommendations, and we hope you find them both useful and entertaining.

But we also hope they encourage some of you to get out from behind that desk, or off that couch, and help get Dallas moving.