These Are the 10 Fittest States in America

Get the Basics...

  • Our ranking of the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) was determined by two factors: Obesity Prevalence and Number of Gyms.
  • 39.6 percent of the U.S. population (aged 20 and up) is obese.
  • The 10 Fittest States all have three major similarities: lowest rates of obesity, highest number of gyms, and most outdoor passions.
  • Colorado the fittest state in our entire country.

Click here for rankings table and here to view interactive graphics.

As one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time said,

“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.” – Gene Tunney

Being fit and staying fit isn’t a hobby; it’s a lifestyle that requires hard work. Research shows that obesity has 40 percent genetics and 60 percent environment to blame, but don’t let that be your excuse!

You might have “bad” genes, a sedentary job, or be surrounded by unhealthy temptations, but only you determine how active and fit you truly are. Humans are creatures of habit by nature. So, develop a routine centered on healthy habits like the residents of America’s 10 fittest states by going PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!

Methodology

Our ranking of the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) was determined by two factors:

  • Obesity Prevalence – Higher percentage = lower ranking
  • Number of Gyms – Higher total count = higher ranking

These top 10 states have the lowest percentage of obesity and the highest number of fitness centers in our nation.

Our totals are based on the 14 largest gym chains in America:

  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Crossfit
  • Crunch Fitness
  • Curves Fitness
  • Equinox
  • Gold’s Gym
  • LA Fitness
  • Life Time Fitness
  • Orange Theory Fitness
  • Planet Fitness
  • Snap Fitness
  • World Gym
  • YMCA

Clear here to see the complete data for the 50 states (plus DC) in our study.

These Are the 10 Fittest States in America

Click here to view our interactive graphics

There are over 36,540 gyms across America, which puts America at number one in the world for having the most facilities dedicated to fitness.

Despite this, 39.6 percent of the U.S. population (aged 20 and up) is obese.

We must change this trend. Fortunately, parts of the U.S. are putting in the work to stay fit.

#10 – Idaho

Obesity Ranking: 14th place
Total Gyms Ranking: 18th place
U.S. Region: Mountain

Idaho is doing better than most states, but obesity here is on the rise — 29.3 percent now compared to 18.4 in 2000.

Thankfully, Idaho leaders realize the dangers of obesity and have signed over 10 policy actions to get control over this epidemic.

With 102 total, Idaho residents have 6.06 gyms for every 100k residents, and that’s just one of many ways Idahoans can stay active. Known as “A Trout Fishing Paradise,” this state offers some of the best spots to fish in the world.

#9 – Wisconsin

Obesity Ranking: 28th place
Total Gyms Ranking: 3rd place
U.S. Region: East North Central

Wisconsin is home to 431 gyms, BUT, it’s also home to “Cheeseheads” who enjoy lots of fair foods, brandy, beer, fish fries, potato pancakes, cream puffs, and of course cheese!

Those foods, drinks, tailgating, and dedicated spectating are all probably to blame for 32 percent of Wisconsin’s population being obese.

At least Wisconsinites also take hunting seriously, which is another way to stay fit in addition to visiting those gyms.

#8 – Montana

Obesity Ranking: 7th place
Total Gyms Ranking: 23rd place
U.S. Region: Mountain

Montana may only have 59 gyms, but the “Land of Shining Mountains” is full of thrill-seekers, ranchers, farmers, hikers, hunters, fisherman, skiers, snowshoers, bull riders, and even ax-throwers who prove you don’t always need a gym to stay fit.

People here also work hard with the majority of Montana’s economy relying on farming, ranching, and the mining of oil, gas, coal, and even hard rock.

Montana earns its spot as a top ten fittest state, but it still has a way to go with its current 25.3 percent obesity prevalence.

#7 – Hawaii

Obesity Ranking: 4th place
Total Gyms Ranking: 22nd place
U.S. Region: Pacific

This gorgeous U.S. island may only have 81 gyms, but its yearlong warm weather and world-renowned outdoor activities help keep its residents fit.

The 23.8 percent obesity prevalence might actually stem from poor eating habits. Hawaii consumes more cholesterol and fat-packed SPAM than any other state — a shocking seven million cans a year.

With some wholesome food choices, Hawaii could soon become the healthiest state in America.

#6 – Massachusetts

Obesity Ranking: 3rd place
Total Gyms Ranking: 19th place
U.S. Region: New England

One of the very first U.S. colonies is still forging the way; this time in regards to fitness.

With a 25.9 obesity prevalence, Massachusetts is the third least obese state offering 412 gyms.

“Bostonians tend to live the life of the mind, which is why staying fit for us often involves more than a treadmill and a Nicki Minaj soundtrack.” – Boston Magazine

Massachusetts residents are passionate about biking, running, walking, skiing, hiking, and eating locally grown foods.

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#5 – Minnesota

Obesity Ranking: 18th place
Total Gyms Ranking: 1st place
U.S. Region: West North Central

Minnesota still has a way to go with 28.4 percent of its population being obese, but the residents here certainly have the means to get fit considering they live in the state with the most fitness centers!

There’s a total of 571 gyms in Minnesota, which means there are 10.34 gyms for every 100k people (birth and up). That’s a lot of choices!

Minnesota may still struggle with obesity because of some of its food staples:

The seemingly endless winters and mountains of snow could be partly to blame as well.  If Minnesotans took advantage of all those gyms, they’d soon be living in the fittest state in our country!

#4 – Rhode Island

Obesity Ranking: 11th place (tied)
Total Gyms Ranking: 7th place
U.S. Region: New England

Like most of the U.S., Rhode Island’s obesity prevalence is on the rise — 30 percent now compared to 16.9 in 2000. You might know why when you learn that Providence, RI, was named the “Best Foodie City” in America by Travel + Leisure.

Fortunately, Rhode Island is on the right track with its “Get Fit, Rhode Island” Wellness Initiative, which offers advice, support, and even healthy recipes.

With many gyms to choose from, Rhode Islanders should be able to maintain their status as a top five fittest state!

#3 – New Hampshire

Obesity Ranking: 11th place (tied)
Total Gyms Ranking: 5th place
U.S. Region: New England

New Hampshire and Rhode Island tied for 11th place for the least obese states in America. New Hampshire won the tie thanks to having more gyms per capita.

Not only is New Hampshire ranked fourth for providing the best health care in our nation by U.S. News and World Report, but it is also in USA Today’s top 10 for the best hiking spots.

The Granite State is home to the tallest mountain in the Northeast, Mount Washington, and a spectacular 20,274 stunning summits to keep its citizens fit.

#2 – Connecticut

Obesity Ranking: 10th place
Total Gyms Ranking: 2nd place
U.S. Region: New England

26.9 percent of Connecticut residents are obese, which isn’t that bad compared to most states (it exceeds 35 percent in seven states!).

What’s impressive is that this tiny state, third smallest in America, manages to offer 272 centers dedicated solely to fitness.

Sadly, our second fittest state has other health concerns. It has been reported that Connecticut has the highest levels of air pollution in the Northeast. A study completed in the fall of 2016 found that Connecticut’s toxic air is causing over 150 deaths and just under 500 severe illnesses each year.

#1 – Colorado

Obesity Ranking: 1st place
Total Gyms Ranking: 8th place
U.S. Region: Mountain

Not only is Colorado the Fittest State in our entire country, but it has maintained this status for over a decade, which is downright remarkable.

How the fittest state in America compares to the rest:

  • Highest rate of physical activity
  • Lowest rate of adult obesity
  • Lowest rate of adult diabetes
  • Second-lowest rate of hypertension
  • Third-lowest rate of overweight children
  • Fifth-lowest rate of obese children
  • Second-lowest rate of obesity in two to four-year-olds on WIC

Besides going to one of Colorado’s 394 fitness centers, Colorado has a lot to offer for adventures in the great outdoors.

We could all learn a thing or two from Coloradans. Their way of life is the healthiest across the U.S.!

Get Up and Out!

The Fittest Region in America is New England with four out of the ten fittest states all located there. The rest of the U.S. has a lot to learn from New England about living well.

The 10 Fittest States all have three major similarities:

  1. Lowest rates of obesity
  2. Highest number of gyms
  3. Most outdoor passions

Research has proven that people are more motivated to exercise when they are outdoors and that nature even improves a person’s mental state making cramps and fatigue less noticeable. A study done by Texas State University found that athletes performed better when they were surrounded by greenery.

Eat healthy foods, take advantage of your state’s gyms, find hobbies that keep you moving, and get outside!

Help your state become the fittest in America — and stay there. There’s no time like the present to fight back against our nation’s current leading cause of preventable death.

Complete Rankings: The Fittest States in America

– To sort the table by category, click on header columns.

– Click here for the full stats and sources for each category. For all media inquiries, please email Josh Barnes and don’t forget to sign up for a PRO Plan for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!

StateObesity PrevalenceObesity Prevalence RankNumber of Top GymsPopulationGyms per Capita (100k)Top Gyms RankTotal ScoreFinal RankRegionRegion Average Rank
Alabama 35.70% 48 268 4,863,300 5.51 26 74 42 East South Central 46
Alaska 31.40% 31 46 741,894 6.20 15 46 21 Pacific 17
Arizona 29% 22 330 6,931,071 4.76 42 64 37 Mountain 17
Arkansas 35.70% 48 134 2,988,248 4.48 49 97 51 West South Central 43
California 25% 5 1,775 39,250,017 4.52 47 52 26 Pacific 17
Colorado 22.30% 1 394 5,540,545 7.11 8 9 1 Mountain 17
Connecticut 26% 10 272 3,576,452 7.61 2 12 2 New England 9
Delaware 30.70% 28 60 952,065 6.30 14 42 17 South Atlantic 31
District of Columbia 22.60% 2 34 681,170 4.99 37 39 16 South Atlantic 31
Florida 27.40% 14 1,009 20,612,439 4.90 39 53 28 South Atlantic 31
Georgia 31.40% 31 587 10,310,371 5.69 21 52 26 South Atlantic 31
Hawaii 23.80% 4 81 1,428,557 5.67 22 26 7 Pacific 17
Idaho 27.40% 14 102 1,683,140 6.06 18 32 10 Mountain 17
Illinois 31.60% 34 674 12,801,539 5.26 32 66 38 East North Central 32
Indiana 32.50% 41 403 6,633,053 6.08 17 58 31 East North Central 32
Iowa 32% 38 232 3,134,693 7.40 4 42 17 West North Central 21
Kansas 31.20% 30 164 2,907,289 5.64 24 54 30 West North Central 21
Kentucky 34.20% 45 219 4,436,974 4.94 38 83 46 East South Central 46
Louisiana 35.50% 47 340 4,681,666 7.26 6 53 28 West South Central 43
Maine 29.90% 25 78 1,331,479 5.86 20 45 20 New England 9
Maryland 29.90% 25 270 6,016,447 4.49 48 73 41 South Atlantic 31
Massachusetts 23.60% 3 412 6,811,779 6.05 19 22 6 New England 9
Michigan 32.50% 41 516 9,928,300 5.20 33 74 42 East North Central 32
Minnesota 27.80% 18 571 5,519,952 10.34 1 19 5 West North Central 21
Mississippi 37.30% 50 136 2,988,726 4.55 44 94 49 East South Central 46
Missouri 31.70% 35 329 6,093,000 5.40 28 63 36 West North Central 21
Montana 25.50% 7 59 1,042,520 5.66 23 30 8 Mountain 17
Nebraska 32% 38 135 1,907,116 7.08 9 47 23 West North Central 21
Nevada 25.80% 9 142 2,940,058 4.83 40 49 25 Mountain 17
New Hampshire 26.60% 11 97 1,334,795 7.27 5 16 3 New England 9
New Jersey 27.40% 14 405 8,944,469 4.53 46 60 34 Mid-Atlantic 32
New Mexico 28.30% 19 100 2,081,015 4.81 41 60 34 Mountain 17
New York 25.50% 7 615 19,745,289 3.11 51 58 31 Mid-Atlantic 32
North Carolina 31.80% 36 451 10,146,788 4.44 50 86 47 South Atlantic 31
North Dakota 31.90% 37 52 757,952 6.86 11 48 24 West North Central 21
Ohio 31.50% 33 598 11,614,373 5.15 34 67 39 East North Central 32
Oklahoma 32.80% 43 179 3,923,561 4.56 43 86 47 West South Central 43
Oregon 28.70% 21 226 4,093,465 5.52 25 46 21 Pacific 17
Pennsylvania 30.30% 27 674 12,784,227 5.27 31 58 31 Mid-Atlantic 32
Rhode Island 26.60% 11 76 1,056,426 7.19 7 18 4 New England 9
South Carolina 32.30% 40 267 4,961,119 5.38 29 69 40 South Atlantic 31
South Dakota 29.60% 24 60 865,454 6.93 10 34 14 West North Central 21
Tennessee 34.80% 46 342 6,651,194 5.14 35 81 45 East South Central 46
Texas 33.70% 44 1,409 27,862,596 5.06 36 80 44 West South Central 43
Utah 25.40% 6 165 3,051,217 5.41 27 33 11 Mountain 17
Vermont 27.10% 13 33 624,594 5.28 30 43 19 New England 9
Virginia 29% 22 571 8,411,808 6.79 12 34 14 South Atlantic 31
Washington 28.60% 20 467 7,288,000 6.41 13 33 11 Pacific 17
West Virginia 37.70% 51 83 1,831,102 4.53 45 96 50 South Atlantic 31
Wisconsin 30.70% 28 431 5,778,708 7.46 3 31 9 East North Central 32
Wyoming 27.70% 17 36 585,501 6.15 16 33 11 Mountain 17


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