Cities Rated for Active Lifestyle
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The Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle

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Cities Rated for Active Lifestyle
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where to keep moving

It's that time of year when those lofty New Year's resolutions about staying fit are circling the drain, especially if you live somewhere that makes it difficult to stay active. A WalletHub study examines 100 cities across the country to determine which best support residents who want to get off the couch, and which make it most tempting to stay there. Researchers examined everything from air quality and the amount of parkland and sports clubs to how much it costs to join a gym or rent a tennis court. Here are the 10 cities that make it easiest to live an active lifestyle, and 10 where you'll have your work cut out for you.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Honolulu
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best for active lifestyles: honolulu

Rank: 1
Honolulu claims victory in WalletHub's study by securing the top spot in its "Sports and Outdoors" ranking, which takes into account the availability of sports and fitness facilities, walking trails, acres of parkland, and other factors. Honolulu scored big with the most basketball hoops, volleyball nets and tennis courts per capita of any city, tons of hiking trails, oodles of parkland, and its proximity to the Pacific. Also helping: Great air quality.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Chicago
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best for active lifestyles: chicago

Rank: 2
Chicago residents know the Windy City has icy Lake Michigan gusts instead of warm island breezes, but that doesn't stop them from staying active. It ties New York City for having the most playgrounds and basketball hoops per capita, and ranks just behind Honolulu for tennis courts. Perhaps surprisingly, it ties several cities for the most swimming pools per capita, too. Walkability and lots of running paths are other strong points.

Best for Active Lifestyles: San Francisco
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best for active lifestyles: san francisco

Rank: 3
Ready to try out a new fitness class? Head to San Francisco. The City by the Bay ranks first for fitness centers per capita (though you'll pay dearly to join — the fees are the highest of all cities studied). Also helping San Francisco: The large share of people who walk or bike to work; tons of running and walking trails; and the highest number of sports clubs, dance schools, and bike rental facilities.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Portland
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best for active lifestyles: portland

Rank: 4
A city can abound with recreational opportunities, but they mean little if residents don't, or can't, take advantage of them. That's where Portland excels: It's first in the study's "Budget and Participation" ranking, which examines how costly recreational opportunities are, and whether people take advantage of them. Portland has the lowest share of physically inactive residents of any city in the study. Other strengths include a huge variety of hiking, running, and walking trails; overall bike friendliness; a large number of residents who walk or bike to work; and good air quality.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Seattle
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best for active lifestyles: seattle

Rank: 5
Seattle is also here to prove that a little rain is no reason to stay inside in the Pacific Northwest. It's second only to Portland for having the lowest share of physically inactive residents. Seattle also boasts a large percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, and plenty of running and walking trails. The city is also in the top 10 for fitness centers, dance schools, sporting goods stores, and skateboard parks per capita.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Minneapolis
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best for active lifestyles: minneapolis

Rank: 6
Its winters might be famously frigid, but Minneapolis is still an easy place for residents to get moving and stay moving. It's in the top 10 for having the lowest share of physically inactive residents and highest share of workers who walk and bike to work. Minneapolis also has tons of great sports facilities, topping the list for ice skating rinks, public golf courses, and baseball and softball diamonds.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Washington, D.C.
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best for active lifestyles: washington, d.c.

Rank: 7
Healthy commuting habits help propel the nation's capital toward the top of the list — it's No. 1 for the share of workers who bike or walk to work, as well as general access to exercise opportunities. D.C. residents also like their pick-up soccer games and benefit from having lots of swimming pools, tennis courts, and fitness trainers per capita, plus the city is at the top of the heap for running trails and walking trails per capita.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Denver
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best for active lifestyles: denver

Rank: 8
Outdoorsy Denver seems like a natural fit on this list, and it particularly excels with a low share of physically inactive residents and the second-most fitness trainers and aerobics instructors per capita. The Mile High City also notches a top 10 finish for playgrounds per capita, bike friendliness, and general access to exercise opportunities.

Best for Active Lifestyles: San Diego
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best for active lifestyles: san diego

Rank: 9
San Diego has plenty of places for residents to work on their beach bods, tying with San Francisco and New York City for having the most fitness centers per capita. It's also No. 1 for sports clubs per capita and bike-rental facilities, and in the top 10 for sporting goods stores, baseball and softball diamonds, soccer fields, dance schools, and walking trails.

Best for Active Lifestyles: Madison, Wisconsin
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best for active lifestyles: madison, wisconsin

Rank: 10
In this scenic college town, a huge share of residents walks or bikes to work. Madison also ties several other cities for the most basketball hoops per capita, and reigns supreme for having the most ice rinks. Also helping propel Madison into the top 10: tons of playgrounds, general bike-friendliness, and great air quality.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Memphis
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worst for active lifestyles: memphis

Rank: 91
One of the biggest factors working against Memphis: A much-larger-than-average share of inactive adults. It's also harder to find facilities like fitness centers or sports clubs here, and the city has one of the lowest numbers of fitness trainers or aerobics instructors per capita. Also not helping matters: that muggy, unpredictable Tennessee weather.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Garland, Texas
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worst for active lifestyles: garland, texas

Rank: 92
In this suburb of Dallas, next to no one walks or bikes to work. It's also in the bottom 10 cities for fitness centers, sporting goods stores, and playgrounds per capita. However, Garland does have a relatively high number of public golf courses, pick-up soccer meets, and Little Leagues per capita, and the weather is amenable to getting outdoors.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Toledo, Ohio
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worst for active lifestyles: toledo, ohio

Rank: 93
First, the good news: It's cheap to join a fitness club in Toledo, which is among the 10 cities with the most reasonable dues. The city also boasts a high number of public golf courses per capita, and good air quality. But it ranks in the bottom 10 in a number of categories, including hiking, walking, and running trails per capita; tennis courts; baseball and softball diamonds per capita; basketball hoops per capita; and sporting goods stores and sports clubs per capita.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Wichita, Kansas
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worst for active lifestyles: wichita, kansas

Rank: 94
It's inexpensive to bowl or play a game of tennis in Wichita, and the city scores well for its air quality. But too few people bike or walk to work here, and the unpredictable weather doesn't do outdoorsy types any favors. It's also in the bottom 10 cities for basketball hoops per capita, and in the bottom 20 for fitness centers and Little Leagues.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Arlington, Texas
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worst for active lifestyles: arlington, texas

Rank: 95 Sandwiched between Dallas and Fort Worth, Arlington shares Garland's car-centered culture, with few residents who walk or bike to work, few bike-rental options, and few hiking trails per capita. It also suffers from fewer-than-average fitness centers, basketball hoops, sporting good stores, and playgrounds per capita.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Fresno, California
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worst for active lifestyles: fresno, california

Rank: 96
Fresno shows that not all of California is super pricey, with reasonable fitness club dues and cheap tennis-court rentals. But the rest of the news isn't great for this central city, which is among the worst for access to exercise opportunities. It's in the bottom 10 cities for basketball hoops and fitness trainers per capita, and close to the bottom 10 for parkland, hiking trails, running trails, golf courses, baseball and softball diamonds, and tennis courts per capita.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Irving, Texas
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worst for active lifestyles: irving, texas

Rank: 97
Curiously, Irving, is the third Dallas suburb in the bottom 10 cities for living an active lifestyle. Per capita, it has few sporting goods stores, sports clubs, basketball hoops, tennis courts, and fitness centers. It also doesn't fare so well with its low share of residents who walk or bike to work.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Bakersfield, California
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worst for active lifestyles: bakersfield, california

Rank: 98
Bakersfield loves its cars, and it shows: The city is in the bottom 10 for share of residents who walk or bike to work, has a relatively low walk score, and has few running or walking trails per capita. It also finishes in the bottom 10 cities for public golf courses, dance schools, and fitness trainers and aerobics instructors per capita. In better news, the city has some of the best weather for getting outdoors, but the poor air quality might stop anyone with respiratory issues from taking advantage.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: North Las Vegas
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worst for active lifestyles: north las vegas

Rank: 99
Need some new running shoes or a baseball bat? Don't go shopping in North Las Vegas, which has the least sporting goods stores per capita. It's also dead last for its tiny share of residents who walk or bike to work, and in the bottom 10 for sports clubs, baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, and fitness centers per capita. But if you're a golfer, you're in luck: It's tied for the most public golf courses per capita.

Worst for Active Lifestyles: Hialeah, Florida
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worst for active lifestyles: hialeah, florida

Rank: 100
This suburb of Miamihas the dubious honor of being WalletHub's worst place to live for an active lifestyle. Few residents walk or bike to work, and there aren't many skateboard parks, baseball and softball diamonds, or fitness centers for residents to use. It's also close to last place for playgrounds, parkland or walking trails per capita, and dead last for hiking and running trails per capita.