Active Living

Active Living

Physical activity is essential to a good life. Children need it to grow to their full potential. Adults need it to stay fit and healthy. Seniors need it to maintain quality of life.

Exercise keeps the body well-tuned, resilient to stress, and high-performing. Exercise is very important for people who mainly sit for their work.

Active living and healthy eating support each other, and together their benefits multiply. Active living regulates appetite, improves heart health, blood pressure and circulation. It strengthens bones and muscles. It builds physical and mental strength.

What counts as exercise?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  exercise is "physical activity performed during leisure time with the primary purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness, physical performance or health." Activites include walking, running, swimming, bicycling, jumping rope, lifting weights, dancing, playing tennis or soccer, climbing on playground equipment at recess and doing yoga.

How much exercise do I need?

The CDC recommends that adults do at least 2 hours 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) OR 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (such as running) each week. In addition, adults should do muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.

Our region is a great place to be active because it has a lot of parks, pools, playgrounds, golf and tennis courses, gyms and other places for physical activity. Interact for Health's active living efforts build off those assets and are directed in two areas:

BICYCLE AND WALKING TRAILS

From our 2014 and 2015 grants, we learned that the biggest opportunity to change our region will be to create a regional network of walking and bicycle trails.

Our region already has 391 miles of trails, but they do not yet connect very well with one another. Linking them in a regional network will create a tremendous asset for our region. There will be more trails for people in different areas and with different abilities, from casual walkers to skilled bicyclists. And with more places to go, trails would be used for more than just recreation. Many people will be able to commute to work or use the trails for errands. This can change walking or biking into a regular daily activity.

Having trails nearby also boosts economic development. A strong trail network will make Greater Cincinnati stand out from other cities we compete with for people and jobs. When young professionals are recruited for jobs in our region, they frequently ask about trails.

Our region is ready to create a regional trail system. Here are just a few of the projects working to link trails in Greater Cincinnati.

TRI-STATE TRAILS is a coalition of trail advocates, a physical network of trails and a vision to connect our region in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn and Franklin counties in Indiana. In 2014, with funding from Interact for Health, it developed the Regional Trails Plan, which maps existing and proposed trails and examines how they could be connected.

To learn more about Tri-state Trails, click here.

GREEN UMBRELLA, an alliance working to maximize the environmental sustainability of Greater Cincinnati, has produced an excellent interactive map showing the wealth of trails we have in our region. Zoom in on the map below and find a trail near you where you can get active.

 

Green Umbrella’s Meet Me Outdoors initiative helps people connect with nature, find activities and stay engaged with our region’s outdoor amenities. It sponsors events such as the Opening Day on the Trails Challenge and the Great Outdoor Weekend. Visit meetmeoutdoors.org to find even more recreation opportunities.

The CINCINNATI CONNECTS plan aims to create an urban loop trail that will make Cincinnati one of the top pedestrian and bicycle communities in the nation. When completed, the 42 miles of trail will connect residents in 32 neighborhoods with parks, recreation centers, rivers, jobs, business districts, transit hubs, cultural resources, schools and more. Cincinnati Connects is a bold vision for a healthy, vibrant and revitalized city with a robust alternative transportation system that offers enhanced mobility and connectivity for all of its citizens.

To download the Cincinnati Connects plan, click here.

To download maps that detail the Cincinnati Connects plan, click here.

To download the cost benefit analysis from the plan, click here.

For more information about this program contact Program Officer Megan Folkerth at 513-458-6631 or mfolkerth@interactforhealth.org

 

To learn more about our active living work, click here. To see a list of grantees, click here.

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