Skip to main content

The year isn't so new anymore. You may be feeling despondent about your January resolution to lose weight and exercise more. Maybe it’s still too cold, snowy or rainy to get outside. Maybe you’re trimming your budget, and there's no room for gym fees.

Sure, you can take the stairs instead of the escalator, or park a little farther away at the grocery store, but that's not going to cut it.

To really get active, you need access to places where you'll enjoy walking, running, biking, swimming, playing sports or working out. You need a little inspiration - whether from nature, the people around you, or the fun you have doing activities.

You also need to be able to afford it, and you don't have a lot of time to spare to take two buses and a train just to get to a gym, a pickup game or a walking trail.

Some cities are better suited to an active lifestyle than others, and it's not just about weather.

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

“The built environment matters,” says Abbi Lane-Cordova, an assistant professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina. “By having public parks and playgrounds, bike lanes, sidewalks in good condition, and public transportation options, a community encourages physical activity in its residents.”

An active lifestyle is one that integrates physical activity into daily life. Experts say cities can encourage residents to be more active not just by prioritizing parks and recreational facilities, but by shoveling walks, lighting pathways at night and connecting trails to workplaces, schools and public transportation to encourage people to walk or bike to work, school or shopping. Organized team sports in a community help kids and adults incorporate more physical activity into their lives. Access to nature, whether mountains, lakes, woods or the ocean takes us out of the daily grind.

To find the cities that best allow an active lifestyle, personal finance site Wallet Hub ranked the 100 biggest U.S. cities for their costs and availability of these kinds of facilities, activities and outdoor features. They also factored in walk score, bike score, air quality and weather.

Some of the metrics included were the cost and availability of: fitness clubs and the number of fitness clubs with virtual classes, bowling alleys, tennis courts, soccer fields, little league, volleyball courts, skate parks, ice skating rinks, dance studios, bike rental facilities and bike sharing, playgrounds, public golf courses, parklands, hiking trails, and proximity to a major lake or ocean. They also considered the percentage of physically inactive adults in the community, the number of people who bike or walk to work, and Google searches for “at-home workouts” and “at-home sports equipment.”

WalletHub determined each city's weighted average across all metrics to calculate an active lifestyle score and used the resulting scores to rank the cities.

These are the best cities to enjoy an active lifestyle.

1 san francisco bay to breakers sh
2 chicago  starmaro : Shutterstock
3 nyc new york highline sh
4 san diego sh
honolulu hawaii sh
2 los angeles calif dog sh
22 portland oregon sh
6 philadelphia Fotos593 : Shutterstock
25 denver colorado sh
2 Seattle sh
las vegas nevada sh
madison wisconsin sh
3 Minneapolis sh
22 cincinnati Cory Woodruff : Shutterstock
1 austin texas sh
8 Irvine calif sh
9 golf tucson arizona sh
18 washington dc dog sh
houston texas marathon sh
San Jose Calif homes sh
23 Texas san antonio Luke.Travel : Shutterstock
23 Sacramento Dana Gardner : Shutterstock
6 Atlanta sh
11 orlando volcano bay Mia2you : Shutterstock
26 tampa florida sh
1 omaha nebraska sh
9 albuquerque Michael E Halstead : Shutterstock
25 boston Kwanbenz : Shutterstock
7 pittsburgh sh
28. Phoenix dog sh