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.
Prescription Drop Box Map
Chronic medical conditions prevalent among Greater Cincinnati children
Asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety are the most commonly diagnosed chronic conditions among children in the Greater Cincinnati region, according to data collected through the 2017 Child Well-Being Survey.
Most Ohio adults think state should adopt health education standards
The Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) is conducted every year to learn more about the health opinions, behaviors and status of adults in Ohio. In 2017, OHIP asked Ohio adults about state health education standards.
Health and healthy behaviors among youth in our region.
The 2017 Child Well-Being Survey (CWBS) asked parents and guardians of youth in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to describe the overall health of their child. CWBS also asked about specific health behaviors such as physical activity and sleep patterns.
Results show shift in perception from substance abuse being seen as moral failure to a chronic illness.
The Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that 7 in 10 Kentucky adults believe that addiction is a disease (70%). Attitudes towards addiction as a disease were the same both among respondents who have a family member or friend who has experienced problems with substance abuse, and among those who did not indicate such firsthand experience with addiction.
Kentucky adults continue to cite heroin use as causing problems for friends, family
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) and Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) has found that more than 2 in 10 Ohio adults (23%) report knowing someone who has trouble as a result of using heroin, while just under 2 in 10 Kentucky adults (16%) report knowing someone affected by heroin use.