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Fitness Fail? Baltimore Falls On Healthy City List While D.C. Climbs To The Top

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Bui Linh 370x278 XL (2) Linh Bui
Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a weekend anchor...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We now know which city is the healthiest in the nation. Turns out, it’s right down the road.

Linh Bui has more on where Baltimore falls on the list.

This time every year, the American College of Sports Medicine releases its American Fitness Index, which ranks the 50 biggest U.S. cities to find out who is the healthiest.

“I try to get here five days a week,” said Gary Lam, working out.

“I usually do half hour of cardio and half hour of weights,” said Natalie Bryson, working out.

At the Maryland Athletic Club in Harbor East, some Baltimoreans think the city is pretty healthy.

“I live in Federal Hill. I can tell you if you take that camera at five o’clock on Fort Avenue, it’s all runners.  So we have a very active neighborhood,” said Lam.

But the title of “Healthiest City in America” actually goes to Washington, D.C.

“Kind of surprised by that actually,” said Bryson.

Baltimore has fallen on the list–from 17th last year to 25th this year.

The American Fitness Index praised Baltimore for the city’s farmers’ markets, swimming pools, walkers and bikers. But it also found too many people smoke, are obese or suffer from chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes.

MAC fitness director Kelly Whalen says there are easy way to start getting in shape.

“Cut the sugar, cut the saturated fat, cut the alcohol.  A lot of people don’t want to eliminate those things,” said Whalen. “Start with walking. You don’t have to go crazy.”

It’s important to take steps toward more active lives and a healthier city.

“I have two young daughters and I want to be around for a long time for them,” said Lam.

“Just do it for yourself.  It just makes you feel better,” said Bryson.

The American Fitness Index started in 2008.  The highest Baltimore has ever ranked is 17th.

Memphis, Tenn. is the unhealthiest city in America, according to this year’s report.

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