L.A. is where all the fitness trends seem to start, from Tae Bo to P90X, from stripper pole workouts to marathon partying with Lindsay Lohan. Schwarzenegger started out at Gold's Gym in Venice, and the world hasn't been the same since.
But a funny thing happened to our sunny, coastal city known for its pretty people. We, like the rest of America, got fat. Now L.A. doesn't even rank among the nation's most-fit cities:
Sad to say, but L.A.'s image isn't living up to reality.
According to the latest American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index, Los Angeles ranks a measly 29th among America's “Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas.”
And that's out of our 50 largest cities, a pool that places L.A. second in population. Why so low?
The College says L.A. has a lower percentage of physically active people, a higher percentage of people in poorer physical and mental health in a 30-day period, fewer parks and playgrounds and, yes, a higher percentage of people with diabetes.
Nearly one out of four Angelenos is obese, according to the report.
Interestingly, we do better when it comes to “personal health indicators” such as behaviors, ranking 16th nationally, but worse on “environmental indicators” such as recreational facilities, where we come in at 38th.
(Of course, this is the private gym capital of America.)
What does L.A. do well on the fitness tip? The College says we have a comparatively low number of smokers and asthma sufferers and a high number of bike riders and walkers.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, by the way, took the fittest-city prize for the third straight year. Here's the top 30: