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The Best Cities in the US for Active Lifestyles

CEO Tinh Phung
Are you looking to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle? The city you live in could be a determining factor. Some cities offer more opportunities for physical activity, with an abundance of parks, outdoor...

Are you looking to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle ? The city you live in could be a determining factor. Some cities offer more opportunities for physical activity, with an abundance of parks, outdoor spaces, and recreational facilities, while others may lack these amenities.

To help you find the best cities for active people, we've constructed a weighted index of five measures: workers who commute by walking, recreational sports facilities per capita, the share of people with easy access to exercise venues, people who regularly exercise, and the area's pedestrian and cyclist friendliness.

The West Leads the Way

It comes as no surprise that the West dominates the list of best cities for active people. Twelve out of the top 25 cities are located in the West, with eight of them specifically in California and Colorado. These cities benefit from favorable environmental factors, such as pleasant weather, that contribute to higher levels of regular exercise among adults.

Exercise for a Healthy Weight

Regular exercise not only helps you stay fit but also contributes to maintaining a healthy weight. In metropolitan areas ranked as the best for active people, the share of adults who are obese is notably lower than the national average of around 29%. In fact, in some cities on this list, the adult obesity rate is as low as 15.2%. So, if you're looking to shed some pounds or maintain a healthy weight, consider moving to one of these cities.

Better Overall Well-being

People living in the best cities for active lifestyles also tend to report better overall well-being. The average share of adults in these cities who report being in poor or fair health is lower than the national average of 17.2%. Taking care of your physical health through regular exercise can positively impact your mental health and overall quality of life.

Now, let's take a closer look at some of the top cities for active people:

25. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pennsylvania

  • Adults who exercise regularly: 77.5%
  • Workers who walk to their jobs: 3.6%
  • Adult obesity rate: 27.8%
  • Adults in poor or fair health: 16.4%
  • Median household income: $74,533

Philadelphia and its surrounding metro area boast a population that is more likely to engage in physical activity than the national average. The city is known for being one of the top five most walkable cities in the United States, providing ample opportunities for residents to stay active. Additionally, nearly 93% of the population has easy access to places like gyms and parks.

24. Fort Collins, Colorado

  • Adults who exercise regularly: 86.9%
  • Workers who walk to their jobs: 2.6%
  • Adult obesity rate: 20.2%
  • Adults in poor or fair health: 11.7%
  • Median household income: $75,186

Fort Collins is home to one of the most physically active populations in the country. With nearly 87% of adults regularly exercising, the city ranks among the top metro areas for physical activity. Fort Collins residents also benefit from easy access to places for physical activity, with an estimated 92.8% of the population living in close proximity to parks and recreation centers.

23. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois

  • Adults who exercise regularly: 79.1%
  • Workers who walk to their jobs: 3%
  • Adult obesity rate: 29%
  • Adults in poor or fair health: 16.2%
  • Median household income: $75,379

Chicago is not only one of the most walkable cities in the country but also one of the most bike-friendly. With 97.4% of residents having easy access to gyms, parks, and recreation centers, the city provides ample opportunities for physical activity. Additionally, 79.1% of the adult population in the metro area reports regular physical activity.

22. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, California

  • Adults who exercise regularly: 85.6%
  • Workers who walk to their jobs: 2.9%
  • Adult obesity rate: 20.3%
  • Adults in poor or fair health: 14.5%
  • Median household income: $83,985

San Diego is known for its warm and moderate weather year-round, making it an ideal location for an outdoor active lifestyle. With 85.6% of adults in the metro area regularly exercising, the city boasts one of the highest physical activity rates in the country. Additionally, 97% of residents have easy access to gyms and parks.

21. Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Adults who exercise regularly: 84.7%
  • Workers who walk to their jobs: 7.1%
  • Adult obesity rate: 24.5%
  • Adults in poor or fair health: 11.9%
  • Median household income: $76,576

Ann Arbor is the only metropolitan area in Michigan to make the list. The city's walkability and easy access to parks and recreation centers contribute to the active lifestyle of its residents. Nearly 85% of adults in the metro area report regular exercise, compared to about 77% of American adults nationwide.

These are just a few examples of the best cities across the US for people with active lifestyles. Whether you're looking for a city with abundant parks, walkable streets, or a variety of recreational facilities, these cities offer the perfect environment for leading a physically active lifestyle. So, lace up your sneakers, grab your workout gear, and get ready to embrace a healthier and more active life in one of these cities.

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