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You’re responsible for your own fitness and nutrition. However, the choices you make can also play an immense role in community health. By identifying healthy opportunities in your community, you can help others live a more active lifestyle.
Plus, healthy communities make it easier for you to achieve your own fitness goals.
Through improved physical education, worksite wellness programs, enhancements to community infrastructure and more, schools, businesses, city leaders and all members of the community have the power to improve community health.
Together, we can add healthy activities to our daily routines, and make the healthy choice the easy choice. Here are just a few ideas on how to help improve physical fitness in your community:
1. Start extracurricular physical activity programs.
Schools can make physical activity opportunities available to all students through afterschool programs like dance classes, walking or running clubs or other activities.
2. Improve access to outdoor recreational facilities.
Parks and green spaces, community playgrounds, sports fields, athletic facilities, public pools, bike paths and walking trails allow for a variety of physical activities for all members of the community.
3. Enhance biking infrastructure.
Creating bike lanes and shared-use paths on roads, and providing bike racks around public spaces will increase the likelihood of bicycling within the community.
4. Enhance walking infrastructure.
Adding sidewalks, footpaths and walking trails will encourage citizens to walk more. Also, improved street lighting and traffic-calming devices like speed bumps and traffic circles will enhance walking safety in your community.
5. Improve access to public transportation.
Mass transit systems like buses and streetcars encourage the use of public transit, which could increase physical activity levels when citizens walk to and from bus and streetcar stops.
6. Try these simple activities:
- Walk around the mall or at a local school track.
- Hit the biking or walking trails.
- Volunteer with your kids. You could help build or paint houses with programs like Habitat for Humanity.
- Join an adult basketball league.
- Join an adult softball team.
- Play a neighborhood game of soccer, basketball or kickball.
- Visit a local park.
- Visit the community pool.
- Start a neighborhood walking group.
- Start a neighborhood basketball league.
- Participate in a 5K.
- Participate in a litter clean up.