What is active living?

Active living is a lifestyle that integrates physical activity into everyday routines, such as walking to the store or biking to work. Active living is not a formalized exercise program or routine, but instead means to incorporate physical activity, which is defined as any form of movement, into everyday life.  Ideally, to build places that encourage active living and physical activity. One example includes efforts to build sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals, and other ways for children to walk safely to and from school, as seen in the Safe Routes to School program, or Bike to School efforts.  Recreational opportunities like parks and fitness centers which are close to the home or workplace, walking trails, and bike lanes for transportation also contribute to a more active lifestyle. Active living includes any recreational or physical activity that contributes to a healthier lifestyle, with special attention to the connections of the built environment and health, especially overweight and physical inactivity.

Why is active living important?

Being active every day can help combat health concerns related to food-related disease and chronic conditions.  By incorporating physical activity into daily routines, it helps people have a physically active lifestyle.  Communities that support active living gain health benefits, economic advantages, and improved quality of life.

How much activity do I need?

For achieving active living, people need at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of strong physical activity every week.

Read More: Top 10 Things to Know About the Second Edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

What are the benefits of active living?

There are many health related benefits to being physically active and living an active life. Active living can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve overall health and well-being, reduce stress levels, minimize health related medical costs, help maintain a healthy weight, assist in proper balance and posture and the maintenance of healthy bones and strong muscles. Active living can also improve sleeping patterns and aid in the prevention of risk factors for heart disease such as blood cholesterol levels, diabetes and hypertension.

Active Living Resources

Middle aged Hispanic woman with short hair sits and smiles at an outdoor fitness class

Local Resources

Local wellness and fitness resources in West Michigan.

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Walking Routes

Explore a new walking route in your neighborhood.

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Types of Exercise

Learn more about the benefits of differents types of exercise.