New Beginnings 2019
The Fit List

Austin makes big strides among nation's best cities for an active life

Austin makes big strides among nation's best cities for an active life

Austin Congress Avenue Bridge paddle board Lady Bird Lake Town Colorado River
Keep moving, Austin. Congress Avenue Kayaks/Facebook

If your goal for 2019 is to develop a consistent fitness regimen and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you're in the right place.

According to WalletHub, Austin ranks 18 out of 100 in the personal finance website's annual list of the best and worst cities in America for an active lifestyle. Think being in the top 20 isn't that impressive? In 2016, Austin was all the way down at No. 54.

To get its list, WalletHub evaluated 38 key indicators of an active lifestyle through two main categories: budget and participation and sports and outdoors. Some of the 38 factors included monthly fitness club fees, average cost of sports apparel, number of basketball hoops, and — curiously — the cost of bowling.

Last year, WalletHub named Austin as one of the least-stressed cities in Texas, so this new accolade more than makes sense.

Among major Texas cities, Houston was the second-highest at No. 42, followed by Dallas (No. 53), Lubbock (No. 57), San Antonio (No. 61), Plano (No. 68), Laredo (No. 71), El Paso (No. 80), Fort Worth (No. 84), and Corpus Christi (No. 89).

Making a particularly bad showing were the three Texas cities in the bottom 10: Garland (No. 92), Arlington (No. 95), and Irving (No. 97).

Notably, El Paso ranked second for having the lowest monthly fitness club fees, but No. 77 for the highest percentage of physically inactive residents. Fort Worth scored a dismal 94th for the fewest swimming pools per capita, while Irving is No. 97 in fewest basketball hoops per capita.

So, other than Austin, where should the fit-minded be calling home? Honolulu is tops, followed by Chicago; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle.