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Updated September 11, 2021
Another day, another calorie—but for the world’s fittest countries, staying healthy means more than just a number on a scale.
Fitbit revealed a list of some of the world’s fittest countries according to their gathered data from more than 20 million Fitbit users—tracking data such as daily activity, heart rate, and sleep. Ireland stood out as number one by Fitbit standards, and the U.S. number 28 of 30.
But fitness isn’t just about daily activity. The following fit countries (according to CNN Travel) certainly seem to know the answer to good health and fitness because they boast some of the lowest cholesterol levels, best access to fresh foods, nutritious diets, healthier portion sizes—and they understand the necessity of a good nap too. Without further adieu, here are the world’s 9 fittest countries.
The 9 fittest countries in the world
With a diet rich in vegetables, fish and unsaturated fat, it’s no wonder Israel is a healthy place to be.
According to the country’s agricultural wing about 80 percent of Israelis eat fruits and vegetables every day, which is more than many Americans can say.
Israelis also have the lowest cholesterol diets and that seems to only improve with age.
As it turns out, Sweden is known for much more than just Ikea and 6-hour workdays. Swedes have diets that are low in carbs and high in the right kind of fats, making them number two in terms of life expectancy (Japan is number one). And according to a 2013 survey from the European Commission, Sweden has the largest number of regular exercisers.
Japan is famous for its beauty, morals—and thanks to a combination of exercise and diet, the oldest population in the world. Yasutaro Koide, a Japanese resident, set the world record of becoming the world’s oldest man at age 112 before his death in 2016, just two months shy of his 113th birthday. Japanese locals also practice the art of Hara Hachi Bu— eating food until you’re extremely full, an art that has been shown to promote a long life and less disease.
Spain (The fittest country in the world)
The Spanish diet includes all of the essentials—fresh vegetables, lean meats, olive oil and red wine (rich in antioxidants), not to mention it is always fresh and local. Spain also eats less fast food than other European countries, and after a long day (or anytime, really) a “siesta” or nap, as we know it, is readily welcomed.
Australia is known for many things: its beaches, its wildlife, its scenery, Liam Hemsworth—you know, the basics. But locally sourced food and exercising outdoors is a common theme in this country. CNN Traveler even named Australia their top destination of 2016, and with the amount of happy and healthy locals and travelers itching to see its uniqueness and beauty, who can blame them?
For a city that has been named the most expensive city in the world, it sure is a healthy one. In fact, it’s the healthiest region in Asia according to the finding. Singapore is known for its food and workout classes, as well as its reasonable health care.
It’s the best country in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report and also ranks 3rd on this list as one of the healthiest. Having the fresh air and the beautiful Alps for skiing doesn’t hurt either, as well as the world’s best health care system. Much like Japan, Switzerland also has some of the highest life expectancies in the world.
There must be something in the water. Iceland has recently become the newest hotspot—and with its gorgeous blue lagoons and famous Northern Lights, who wouldn’t want to be out and about? The citizens are active and enjoy the outdoors. The diets consist largely of fresh seafood and free-range meat, not to mention the life expectancy for both men and women is over 80 years.
What do Italians do well? They make great wine, pasta, oh, and they’re healthier than everyone else. Children in Italy can expect to live into their eighties. Despite a struggling economy, its excess of doctors and olive oil and vegetable-rich diet leads to better cholesterol and overall health. Fuhgeddaboudit!
Italy has paved the way for more than just modernity, and if the world takes notice like they did of the Renaissance of art and ideas, that model of good health and eating habits might just spread and become the global norm.