Today at the doctors office, I was flipping through a slightly dated copy of Men's Health magazine. I'm not really a fitness buff (at all), but the magazine selection was slim, and I figured Men's Health would be a better read than Parenting Monthly or the other boring options of outdated waiting room magazines.

I absently flipped through the pages, mainly stopping to unfold and sniff the cologne ads. I read an interesting short article about the Bataan Memorial Death March, an INSANE endurance type race held annually in White Sands New Mexico (I'll pass). Finally, towards the back of the magazine, was the Men's Health 20 Fittest Cities in America list.

I expected the usual cities to make the list... Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake. But lo and behold, coming in at #15 on the list is good old Billings!! Nice! It's great to see our town on a positive list for a change, instead of the Top States for DUI's or meth list (thankfully we're out of the Top 10 for meth). Men's Health had judged the top 100 cities in the US by these criteria:

We analyzed 100 of America’s most populous cities and gave each an activity rating based on fitness guidelines, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and, on the flip side, the percentage of the population reporting inactivity. This rating contributed 50 percent of the weighted score.

Then we looked at general health, with our team determining the percent- age of the population reporting “good, very good, or excellent overall health,” according to the CDC and various state and county health records. We also pulled self-reported data about heart health and obesity. These three categories made up the other 50 percent of the weighted score, with obesity level carrying 25 percent, general health 15 percent, and cardiac health the remaining 10 percent.

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