Top 10 Most Active Cities in America
By Katherine Wernet
Every year, Americans from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, resolve to be more active. As part of the MINDBODY Wellness Index, we ranked the Healthiest Cities in America, and being fit and active is an important part of that. Some cities, it turns out, are a lot more active—throughout the year—than others. It's these fittest cities that we turn to for a little inspiration as January turns to February and our best new year intentions are in danger of becoming dreams dashed.
Here are the rankings for the top 10 most active cities in the US.
1. Los Angeles, CA
LA tops the list with 87% of Angelenos working out at least once a week. The city has the highest percentage of residents (aged 18-65) who work out five times a week or more—34%.
LA residents aren't going it alone, either. Just under half of residents opt for group workouts at least once a week—the second-highest percentage of any top US city.
LA residents spend the most on their fitness, investing, on average, $53 a month. And all this working out IS working out. LA is the fittest city, with the highest percentage of residents meeting CDC guidelines for physical fitness. It's also the number two city in resident fitness level satisfaction.
2. San Francisco, CA
Just over 83% of all SF residents say they work out at least once a week, and 41% of residents are working out in groups at least once a week. Their favorite fitness class or group workout? Dance fitness like Booty Jam Fitness®, Pound®, or Zumba®. Over a quarter of people who do group workouts on a weekly basis are dancing it out. San Francisco makes it into the top 10 healthiest cities in America, too.
3. San Diego, CA
Eighty-two percent of San Diego residents exercise once a week or more. Nearly a quarter of residents are working out five times a week or more. San Diego loves fitness classes, too. The class San Diego is most eager to try next? Kickboxing.
4. Denver, CO
Denver comes in just behind San Diego, with 82% of residents working out on, at least, a weekly basis. The Mile High City ranks sixth in satisfaction with overall fitness level. With a decided emphasis on its physical wellness (one of the seven dimensions of wellness), Denver ranks fourth in our list of the top 10 healthiest cities in the US.
5. Washington, DC
Eighty-one percent of DC residents work out weekly, and over 30% say they're exercising five times a week or more. Washington residents are engaging in a wide variety of fitness classes and are the second-highest fitness spenders. DC's current faves include martial arts, strength training, dance fitness, and yoga.
6. Oakland, CA
Like in DC, 81% of Oakland residents work out once a week at a minimum. Which fitness class has Oakland's heart? Strength training. Thirty percent of Oakland residents who exercise in a group at least once a week are opting for it—one of the highest percentages of strength training fans in America.
7. Chicago, IL
The Windy City could just as easily be dubbed the Workout City. Over 80% of residents are getting in at least one sweat session every week. This dedication to physical wellness has helped Chicago residents achieve a high satisfaction with their overall health—the fifth-highest fitness class to their routines this year, too—aerobics.
8. New York, NY
Ah, New York, New York—the city so nice, they named it the 8th most active in America. The Big Apple is big on group fitness; 39% of New Yorkers work out in groups each week. Yoga and dance fitness are the favorite picks currently, and many are looking to try kickboxing, too.
9. Miami, FL
It's no surprise that the healthiest city in America is also one of the most active. Miami is teeming with workout buddies. It's the city with the highest percentage of people who work out in groups and classes. More than half of Miami residents are doing group workouts or fitness classes at least once a week. Dance fitness is the most popular class, and residents are eager to try aerobics.
10. Seattle, WA
With just under 80% of residents getting in at least one workout a week, Seattle is the 10th most active in the US. Like many of the other most active cities, Seattle stays accountable through lots of group workouts and fitness classes—nearly one-third work out in a group or class weekly. Yoga classes are big in Seattle. Of those who take a class or work out in a group each week, 16% opt for gentle yoga classes, and 19% choose power yoga.