When you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, where you live can have a bigger impact than you might have thought. The cost and variety of exercise options can vary quite dramatically as you move around the country, and it can be easier to stay when motivated when there are plenty of affordable locations suitable for exercise nearby.
So, what are the best places for leading a healthy lifestyle? We did the research to find out more, ranking all 50 states (as well as Washington D.C.) across three different criteria related to availability and affordability.
For availability we calculated at the number of gyms per 100,000 people, as well as the percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park. To judge affordability, we looked at the cost of a gym membership, tennis court rental and a healthy grocery shop before comparing this to the average salary in each state. Finally, we used this data to give each state a score, allowing us to create our ranking of the best U.S. states for healthy living.
Rhode Island is the best U.S. state for healthy living
Rhode Island takes the top spot, claiming the title of the best U.S. state for healthy living, with a score of 146. The Ocean State came out on top for affordability and ranked second overall for green space, with 99% of residents living within 10 minutes’ walk of a park. And for those who prefer working out indoors, Rhode Island came seventh overall for gym access, with the state having 6.9 gyms per 100,000 residents.
Delaware came in a close second place, earning a score of 126, matching Rhode Island’s green space score, with 99% of residents also living within 10 minutes’ walk of a park. Wisconsin took the third spot, scoring 118, with Connecticut and North Dakota sharing the next spot, both earning a score of 114.
Minnesota and Massachusetts rank top for availability
When we look at the availability of gyms, Minnesota takes the top spot, with 10 gyms per 100,000 people. Connecticut is second, with 7.5, followed by Wisconsin, Louisiana and Iowa, which all have 7.3 gyms per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts ranks first for access to green space, with 100% of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park. Rhode Island, Delaware and New York share the number-two spot with 99%, followed by Minnesota, Illinois and Washington D.C. with 98%.
Rhode Island is the most affordable U.S. state for health living
As well as taking the overall top spot, Rhode Island also comes out on top as the most affordable U.S. state for healthy living. The average gym membership in Rhode Island comes in at $30 per month, while residents can rent a tennis court for just $7.75 an hour on average.
Virginia follows as the second-most affordable state for healthy living, with New Jersey, Utah and New Mexico making up the rest of the top five.
Take Home Message
While it’s great having lots of affordable exercise options on your doorstep, don’t worry if your options are more limited. There are plenty of at-home workouts you can do using nothing but your own bodyweight — no equipment or gym membership needed!
It doesn’t matter if you like working out in the gym, at home or in your local park, if you want to boost your performance, take a look at our creatine supplements, like our creatine powder and pre-workout. A super-popular sport supplement, creatine helps boost performance in bursts of short-term, high-intensity exercise.
We compared all 50 U.S. states, as well as Washington D.C., gathering data across the following criteria: number of gyms per 100,000 people, the percentage of residents living within a 10 minute walk of a park, and affordability. For our affordability score we compared the cost of a gym membership, tennis court rental and a healthy grocery shop to the average wage in each city.
For criteria where detailed state-level data was unavailable, the most populous city in each state was used as a sample instead.
Data sources included Numbeo, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Trust for Public Land and Exercise.com.