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No surprise here: SLO County a top ‘fitness-friendly’ spot

The bike rack in front Linnaea’s Cafe in downtown San Luis Obispo is often filled up with bikes.
The bike rack in front Linnaea’s Cafe in downtown San Luis Obispo is often filled up with bikes. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Move over “Top 10 Cities for Wine Snobs,” there’s a new best-of list in town.

This one names the San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande area as the No. 6 most fitness-friendly place to live.

Smart Asset, an online tool for managing personal finance, compiled the list. What were they looking for? The number of people who walk or bike to work, how many personal trainers are available, how much a personal trainer charges an hour, the number of gyms and how many restaurants are classified as fast food.

Here’s what the list’s authors said about the area:

“This is a metro area just west of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. San Luis Obispo was one of the first cities in the world to place a ban on indoor smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande scored particularly highly for healthy dining options in our study. Only 35 percent of restaurants in the area count as fast food. This is consistent with last year’s score.”

The area made the list last year, too, coming in at No. 5.

The most fitness-friendly city in the United States is Missoula, Montana. That city was named No. 1 for the second consecutive year. Also beating San Luis Obispo County: Ames, Iowa, and Corvallis, Oregon, a tie for No. 2; the Bend-Redmond area in Oregon, at No. 4; and State College, Pennsylvania, at No. 5.

The only other California metro area to make the Top 10 was Napa, listed at No. 10. But the Santa Maria-Santa Barbara area made the Top 20, coming in at No. 17.

Check out the Top 25 here.

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