Want a Healthier Lifestyle? You Should Probably Move to One of These 10 Cities
Ever blame your lack of fitness motivation on a) crap weather, b) how far away the gym is or c) friends distracting you with other plans? (Erm, yes to all.) Which leads us to Trulia's Healthiest Cities Report.
Looking at America's 100 largest metros, their team of specialists analyzed fitness data (like percentage of residents who regularly exercise, the number of gyms and parks per household and walkable commutes) to determine the ten healthiest U.S. hubs overall. Looking for a major lifestyle change? Keep on scrolling.
10. San Francisco, CA
With its cool, temperate climate, gorgeous coastline and rolling topography, it was no great surprise that the City by the Bay made the list. Not only does the zip code encourage fitness by virtue of its outdoor beauty (hiking! mountain biking!), but a casual walk to the coffee shop is also kinda like hiking a small mountain. (Three cheers for natural exercise.)
Fun fact: SF ranked #1 for cities with residents who report biking or walking to work.
9. San Diego, CA
This seaside city offers a heavenly average forecast of 70 degrees and sunny with an ocean breeze—adding major incentive to get your butt outdoors and into shape. While hiking, biking and gymming are all big parts of that San Diego life, year-round water sports like surfing and paddleboarding (not to mention the fish tacos) remain, arguably, the biggest local draw.
Fun fact: 83 percent of San Diegans report regular exercise. (Not too shabby.)
8. Boston, Ma
Supremely walkable (with its gorgeous, old streets and manageable size), this coastal New England hub is also undeniably a sports-centric one. (Pats pride is real.) Despite the bitter winters, hearty Bostonites band together and brave the cold to hit up their local gym or league clubs on the regs (they ranked third nationwide in fitness centers per household).
Fun fact: Undeterred by frostbite, Boston also ranked #2 for cities where folks bike to work every day.
7. Cambridge, MA
Often referred to as Boston's "left bank," the city of Cambridge is both a nationwide intellectual center (hi, Harvard and MIT) as well as a fitness one. Blame it on the thriving young, smarty-pants population, but the city ranks fifth in sports instruction (the highest of any city in the top ten list).
Fun fact: Cambridge was dubbed Best Biking City by Bicycle Magazine, and it even boasts its own "biking committee."
6. Charleston, SC
With balmy temps, stunning architecture and a serene seaside location, Charleston is a place where you want to spend time outdoors. In addition to ranking second for its number of leagues, teams and sports clubs, its world-class golfing, equestrian centers and access to water sports make it extra appealing to the fitness-inclined.
Fun fact: Charleston is so cyclist-friendly that during summer months, entire neighborhoods are closed to traffic, allowing folks the space for recreation instead. Utopian, dude.
5. Fort Lauderdale, FL
As Florida's gateway to the Everglades, the sun-drenched city of Fort Lauderdale ranks number one nationwide for amount of parks (37 percent of the public land is dedicated to green space). Topping the hub's most popular exercise list? Cycling the ample oceanfront bike paths and all number of water sports (kayaking! paddleboarding!) in the always glorious tropical waters.
Fun fact: Fort Lauderdale is home to over 40 golf courses.
4. Seattle, WA
If Seattle's lush (OK, sure, wet) climate is good for one thing, it's fostering some blow-your-mind natural beauty. With the surrounding majestic mountains and wilderness, recreational hiking is the raison d'etre for Seattle residents. But droves of folks take this outdoorsy mind-set one step further by biking or walking their daily commutes on the regs.
Fun fact: Prefer exploring by waterway? Seattle's coast boasts a large number of stunning water trails for kayakers.
3. Orange County, CA
With 42 miles of beauteous beachfront and a whopping 17 percent of public land dedicated to public green space and landmarks (and, OK, lots of fit, beautiful people around to inspire you), this West Coast hot spot bodes well for a total change of pace. Namely, an idyllic SoCal one.
Fun fact: A stunning 85 percent of Orange County residents report regular exercise.
2. West Palm Beach, FL
Year-round sun and warmth make this slice of paradise a fabulous place to routinize a workout. West Palm (and the immediate surrounding areas) ranked number 2 nationwide in the park space category, with 15 percent of its land dedicated to public green space, beaches and landmarks.
Fun fact: It also boasts the second highest number of recreational dance companies per capita nationwide. (Who knew?)
1. Salt Lake City, UT
Utah's capital has been on the mega-ups recently, thanks to a robust foodie and cultural scene coupled with affordable housing prices. And now? It can add healthiest city to its belt. In addition to dreamy outdoor activities (like skiing and rafting), it's home to the highest number of recreational sports teams and leagues in the country.
Fun fact: Olympic Park, home to the 2002 Winter Games, is now a training facility for everyday athletes. Get your bobsled on.