San Antonio is tightening its belt.
The Alamo City has gone from one of the nation’s least fit cities to the 25th most fit city in the March issue of Men’s Fitness magazine.
This is the first time San Antonio has made the fit city list.
Men’s Health magazine also included San Antonio in their latest list of best and worst cities for men.
The city ranked 41st place in 2012, up nine spots from its 52nd ranking in 2011, and up 15 rankings from 56th in 2010.
Community-wide efforts have been underway to improve health habits and reduce obesity in San Antonio, and the recent rankings could be proof that the city is beginning to see some changes.
“While there is room for many improvements to the health and built environment of our city, clearly, San Antonio has set its wheels in motion to become a healthier, more connected community,” said Dr. Thomas Schlenker, director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
The improved rankings reflect the efforts of a network of community organizations, including the YMCA, San Antonio Sports, San Antonio Food Bank, the Culinary Institute of the Americas, the Health Collaborative, the San Antonio Housing Authority, several school districts and local universities, and the Mayor’s Fitness Council.
Key initiatives over the last two years include:
Síclovía, a family event that opens streets to pedestrians and bicyclists and closes them to cars.
City adoption of a Complete Streets policy to integrate sidewalks, bike lanes, and other elements to make city streets safe for all users in future city-funded development projects.
Public works infrastructure projects to make communities more pedestrian-friendly and promote safe routes to schools for students.
Installation of outdoor fitness stations.
Free Fitness in the Parks classes, including yoga, Tai Chi, boot camps, and Zumba.
Launch of the B-cycle bike share program, offering 21 bicycle rental kiosks around the downtown area.
Distribution of 1200 bicycles through “Ride to Own” programs with the YMCA, San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, and San Antonio Housing Authority residents.
Placement of physical activity equipment in 363 schools for P.E. and after school programs.
Placement of salad bars in more than 100 schools.
Expansion of Por Vida, the nutrition and menu labeling program helps adults and children find healthy dining choices
Installation of walking trails for public use.
For more information on the initiatives above, visit sabalance.org.
Men’s Fitness magazine obtains their rankings comparing three indexes: the healthy habits index, the bad habits index, and the healthy city index.
Men’s Health magazine determines its rankings through an evaluation of exercise, employment, air quality, and health data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CDC, and the FBI.