On Tuesday, the American Fitness Index rankings named Arlington, Virginia as the nation's fittest city. It tracked how a city's fitness rating was directly related to how they fought COVID-19 better but did not take into account other factors. 

According to a report, the science-based ranking highlighted how cities can affect their residents' views and opportunities to be physically active,  maintain a healthy weight, and avoid illnesses that increase their susceptibility for contracting and dying from COVID-19.

The index detailed that Arlington had more cases of COVID-19 infections than other parts of Virginia and its COVID-19 death rate is 56 per 100,000 population. It also cited Marion County which had the highest number of infections and deaths in the state of Indianapolis. 

Reportedly, Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Madison, Wisconsin; San Francisco, California; Washington, D.C.; Irvine, California; Denver, Colorado; Boise, Idaho; and Boston, Massachusetts made up the index' top 10 fittest cities. 

Barbara Ainsworth who is the chair of the American Fitness Index Advisory Board talked about her insights on the rankings. She implored on the benefits of physical activity and said that "the pandemic showed the need to have local parks, trails and connected sidewalks in all neighborhoods that allow people to exercise safely." 

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an expert on infectious disease and a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security said that aside from being fit, there are other areas that must be taken account to fully understand how a city becomes susceptible to COVID-19, to wit: an area's public health messaging, social distancing, use of mass transit, the average number of people in a household and others.  

From the rankings, experts concluded that authorities in each state and its cities must enact health and hygiene policies and focus its fundings on promoting its residents' physical activity. 

Figures showed that only 25 percent of Americans met national physical activity guidelines with over 30 million suffering from heart disease. Ainsworth viewed this as an alarming census and said that staying fit must be taken more seriously and with more unity as it is already "a national concern."

Other points of discussion that were highlighted were the problems of sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Ainsworth said this hinted that American families should take a bolder step towards ensuring that their members are consistently practicing an active way of life.

The index found that only a fifth of American adults in the 100 largest cities met aerobic and strength guidelines. Preferably, 150 minutes of moderately intensive activity is needed for significant health benefits. 

Natasha Burke, an assistant professor of psychology at Fordham University said that authorities and community leaders must address the health needs of its residents by proactively inquiring about what they need instead of imposing solutions that may not be as beneficial. 

woman running exercise Here are ways to naturally lose weight. Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay