Active Living

REACH goals for active living are to increase opportunities for being active by establishing walking routes in the Hope Zone Neighborhoods.

Physical Activity in Kent County | Walking Routes | YMCA Healthy Living Hubs | GR Walks | Learn More

Physical Activity in Kent County
Healthy eating and regular physical activity have been shown to reduce the risk of a number of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Physical activity has also been proven to have other benefits, including controlling your weight, strengthening bones, lifting your mood, and more. 

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend children get up to 60 minutes of activity a day. For substantial benefits, adults are recommended to do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity a week, and muscle-strengthening activities 2 days a week. Physical inactivity has a direct relationship with household income and race.  

  • Only 26% of adults and 34% of youth in Kent County report eating healthy balanced meals.
  • Men are less likely to meet recommended nutrition guidelines than women (19% vs. 32%)

  • 19,200 Kent County residents live in a food desert, meaning they do not have access to a grocery store with fresh produce.
  • 20% of adults are not physically active.

  • Physical inactivity is especially prevalent in adults with lower income levels (30% in those with household incomes of less than $20,000 per year).
  • Hispanics are most likely to be physically inactive, with reporting no leisure time physical activity.
  • 45% of youth report being physically inactive (less than 60 minutes of exercise during the last 7 days)
  • Youth in Kent County are much more likely to eat healthy balanced meals and be physically active as compared with Michigan youth. They are also less likely to be obese.

Sources: Kent County 2011 Community Health Needs Assessment, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) (2008), Kent County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) Report (2014), Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPhY) (2012).

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Walking Routes

In an effort to increase opportunities for being active, KCHC has established walking routes in the Hope Zone Neighborhoods. Along the routes will be signs with the Walking Man and KCHC Hartl logo. There will also be markers indicating the distance traveled along the path. Walking routes currently exist in the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood, Black Hills Neighborhood, and Garfield Park Neighborhood. Maps of the walking routes are available for download and print in English and Spanish on our here.


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YMCA Healthy Living Hubs

The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Healthy Living Hubs are designed to break down health barriers and provide people with healthy living opportunities. Offered at more than 15 central locations, the Hubs provide a variety of fitness and nutrition education classes such as Zumba, Yoga, Kickboxing and more. These programs are fun, family-friendly, and free for everyone. To learn more about the Healthy Living Hubs, visit the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids website here. You can also find Hub events and locations in our calendar.

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GR Walks

GR Walks is a smart phone app that features walking tours around the city of Grand Rapids. By enabling the GPS on your phone, you can listen to audio narrations of the history of your surroundings. You can even see photos of what the place where you are standing looked like 100 years ago. The app works on iOS and Android devices, including smartphones and tablets. Content is also available for use offline.

Immerse yourself in your neighborhoods history. Follow GR Walk on Facebook and Twitter for updates on new tours and must walk locations. You can learn more about the app and download it here.

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Learn More

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides Americans aged 6 and older with information and guidance on the types and amounts of physical activity needed for maximum health benefits.

Benefits of Walking
Walking has many health benefits. Just by walking for 30 minutes, five days a week you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Learn more about how walking can improve your health and get tips for ways to add more steps into your day.

Facts and Statistics
Discover the health benefits, information, and latest statistics on physical activity in the United States.

Types of Exercise
There's four different types of physical activity, and each have different levels of intensity.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way 2-1-1 is a free health and human service hotline that connects callers to more than 2,900 distinct services in Kent County 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

View our list of resources and tools to learn more about the dangers of tobacco and how to quit.

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