Special Report

The 25 Best Cities for Active People

Source: DutcherAerials / E+ via Getty Images

20. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California
> Adults who exercise regularly: 83.9% (national average: 76.7% )
> Workers who walk to their jobs: 2.5% (national average: 2.6%)
> Adult obesity rate: 21.2% (national average: 29.0%)
> Adults in poor or fair health: 15.8% (national average: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $77,774 (national average: $65,712)

Los Angeles is one of several California metro areas to rank on this list. Nearly 84% of adults living in the broader L.A. metro area report regular exercise, one of the highest physical activity rates of any U.S. metro area.

Regular exercise can aid in maintaining a healthy weight and also contribute to improved overall well being. Across L.A., only 21.2% of adults are obese, well below the 29.0% national adult obesity rate. Additionally, just 15.8% of area adults report being in fair or poor health, compared to 17.2% of adults nationwide.

Source: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images News via Getty Images

19. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California
> Adults who exercise regularly: 88.6% (national average: 76.7% )
> Workers who walk to their jobs: 4.7% (national average: 2.6%)
> Adult obesity rate: 19.0% (national average: 29.0%)
> Adults in poor or fair health: 15.2% (national average: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $89,269 (national average: $65,712)

Santa Cruz, California, has nearly the most physically active population of any U.S. metro area. Nearly 89% of adults in the city have active lifestyles, compared to 76.7% of American adults. Regular exercise can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight, and the Santa Cruz metro area has one of the lowest obesity rates in the country. Just 19.0% of adults in the area are obese, 10 percentage points below the 29.0% national obesity rate.

Like many cities on this list, Santa Cruz is relatively pedestrian friendly. An estimated 4.7% of workers in the area commute by walking, nearly double the 2.6% share of workers nationwide who do.

Source: Mark Wilson / Getty Images News via Getty Images

18. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C. and Virginia
> Adults who exercise regularly: 81.2% (national average: 76.7% )
> Workers who walk to their jobs: 3.3% (national average: 2.6%)
> Adult obesity rate: 28.0% (national average: 29.0%)
> Adults in poor or fair health: 12.5% (national average: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $105,659 (national average: $65,712)

The metro area around the nation’s capital is one of the best parts of the country for people with physically active lifestyles. An estimated 94.9% of metro area residents have easy access to places for physical activity, such as gyms, parks, and recreation centers. Meanwhile, only about 84.2% of Americans nationwide have similar access. Perhaps not surprisingly, adults in the metro area are more likely to exercise than the typical American adult.

Regular exercise can go a long way to improving overall well-being, and in Washington D.C., just 12.5% of adults report being in fair or poor health — a far smaller share than the 17.2% of adults nationwide who do.

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

17. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
> Adults who exercise regularly: 83.8% (national average: 76.7% )
> Workers who walk to their jobs: 2.0% (national average: 2.6%)
> Adult obesity rate: 20.0% (national average: 29.0%)
> Adults in poor or fair health: 12.3% (national average: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $130,865 (national average: $65,712)

The metro area around California’s Silicon Valley is one of the best places for Americans with active lifestyles. In addition to a climate conducive to outdoor activity, San Jose boasts a number of places like parks and recreation centers spread across the metro area. An estimated 98.1% of the population has access to places for physical activity, compared to just 84.2% of the U.S. population. Likely partially as a result, adults in the Silicon Valley area are far more likely than the typical American adult to exercise regularly.

Source: StevenGaertner / Getty Images

16. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota
> Adults who exercise regularly: 81.9% (national average: 76.7% )
> Workers who walk to their jobs: 2.3% (national average: 2.6%)
> Adult obesity rate: 26.6% (national average: 29.0%)
> Adults in poor or fair health: 10.8% (national average: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $83,698 (national average: $65,712)

The Twin Cities metro area is by far the best metro area in Minnesota — and 16th best nationwide — for people who are physically active. About 95% of the metro area population has access to places for physical activity such as gyms, parks, and recreation centers. Adults in the area are also far more likely to exercise regularly than the typical American adult.

Regular exercise can greatly improve overall well-being, and the Minneapolis metro area appears to have a relatively healthy population. Only 10.8% of adults in the area report being fair or poor health, compared to 17.2% of American adults nationwide.