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50 healthiest US cities

The American College of Sports Medicine's 2012 American Fitness Index has ranked its top 50 healthiest cities in the US, and Minneapolis took the No. 1 spot.

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High levels of physical activity have helped put cities like Minneapolis, MN. and Washington, DC. at the top of the 2012 50 healthiest US cities list. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The American College of Sports Medicine's 2012 American Fitness Index (AFI) has ranked its top 50 healthiest cities in the US.

Minneapolis, MN., took the coveted No. 1 spot, with a combination of personal choice and environmental support being cited as the reasons for such a high rate of fitness, according to Reuters. This is the city's second year in a row at the top because of its high levels of physical activity, while Oklahoma City dropped to No. 50 because of raised levels of obesity and smoking.

"When I say Minneapolis ranked No. 1, people give me an 'are you kidding me' kind of look," Walter Thompson, the chairman of the AFI Advisory Board, said to Reuters. "Between November 1 and April 1 they have cold and snow, but they've addressed that."

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Thompson said that what helps Minneapolis residents get through the long winters is an excess of exercise studios on the main streets and a local government that invested resources in park lands. Reuters also reported that when asked if they had any physical activity in the last 30 days, 82.9 percent of Minneapolis residents said they had.

The AFI relied on information from federal government data, such as Centers for Disease Control and US Census reports, as well as information gathered from the 50 cities themselves.

To see an interactive map of the top 50, visit the AFI site's quick view.

Here are the top 10 healthiest cities in the US:

1. Minneapolis, MN.

2. Washington, DC.

3. Boston, MA.

4. San Francisco, CA.

5. Hartford, CT.

6. Sacramento, CA.

7. Portland, OR.

8. Seattle, WA.

9. Denver, CO.

10. Austin, TX.

And the last 10 on the list:

50. Oklahoma City, OK.

49. Detroit, MI.

48. Louisville, KY.

47. Dallas TX.

46. Birmingham, AL.

45. Houston, TX.

44. Memphis, TN.

43. Indianapolis, IN.

42. San Antonio, TX.

41. Orlando, FL.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120625/50-healthiest-us-cities