Did you know, in 2009 Charlotte ranked 34th in America's fittest cities based on a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine. The study took a number of factors into account, such as the percentage of residents who smoke, who are obese, get regular physical activity and have conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Washington D.C. ranked number one with Minneapolis, Denver, Boston and San Francisco filling out the top five spots.
In contrast to our fitness ranking, Charlotte is home to one of the largest YMCAs in the nation, the Harris YMCA located on Quail Hollow Rd. With all the YMCAs, fitness centers, yoga studios, private personal training facilities and outdoor places to run and walk, this statistic proves we have a ways to go in sounding the alarm when it comes to the importance of keeping physically active.
If cost is a factor that keeps you from getting started exercising, there are plenty of options available that will not cost you anything. Now that the weather is warming up, try getting out and walking for 15 - 20 minutes. Start a home routine of a few push-ups and abdominal crunches every day when you wake up, just to get your muscles working. Try defying your lazy boy during one of your favorite T.V. shows and take a seat on the floor. Reach for your toes and stretch, lay on your side and do some leg lifts, or stand up during the commercials and jog or march in place.
We have a great city with a lot of places to walk, jog and ride a bike. This year, let's go for it Charlotte, and bring our city up into the top 20 of America's fittest cities.