With more gyms and health clubs, not to mention CrossFit boxes, sprouting up around the nation, Americans are in the best shape ever.
With results arrived at using the Men's Fitness proprietary formula, we present the healthiest, most active locales from coast to coast.
Nowhere is SoCal’s body-obsessed reputation as clear as it is in Long Beach, where locals can pump their pecs at about twice as many health clubs/gyms as in the rest of the U.S. And who can blame them? With all that sun and surf, there’s little reason to wear a shirt.
In the emoticon heart of Silicon Valley, the skinny tech entrepreneur stereotype seems to be borne out, as San Jose boasts more healthy-weight people than anywhere else. And the hippie-dippie mindfulness fad may be paying off, as locals also report the highest well-being.
For years, Oakland has ridden San Francisco’s coattails, shepherding in its rent refugees and even its expanding companies. So it’s no surprise it’s pretty fit, too, boasting a hyperactive population with access to the second-most gyms and health clubs per capita.
2014’s Fittest City still sets the gold standard in bike-friendliness; but Portlanders are also among the nation’s most physically active people, getting their kicks in their beautiful surrounds—including the nearby Pacific Ocean, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River Gorge.
Home to the nation’s first subway, Boston is still a leader in public transit and walking. Last year the city also passed zoning to encourage commercial urban farming, and building recently began on the year-round Boston Public Market.
Minneapolis’ cycle-friendliness owes much to the 50-mile Grand Rounds bikeway and newer riding trails that are kept plowed through winter. But the city also has one of the nation’s best-maintained park systems—the Parks & Recreation Board—for hiking, canoeing, and swimming.
Breathe deep in the Emerald City and you’ll smell ocean and evergreen. On the sea, between soaring peaks, Seattle sits in a sprawling wilderness that beckons all to play outside even in piss-poor weather. Failing that, they can get their WODs on at a legion of CrossFit boxes.
The Mile-High City has the best of both worlds: a mild climate (nearly 300 sunny days!), which promotes biking and running, and the outdoors playground that is the Rocky Mountains. No wonder Denverites are the nation’s most active.
D.C. surged into second, riding the rear wheel of its fast-growing bike-commuter population, which doubled from 2009 to 2013. Locals stay trim by eating healthy (inspired by FLOTUS’s veg garden?) and hitting the city’s 800-plus gyms.
There’s a perfect storm of fitness brewing here: year-round mild weather, high density that encourages public transit use and walkability, great bike infrastructure, and the kind of affluence that can support a natural health food store on every other street corner. The only thing that could topple it—besides, say, an earthquake—is its smog.