Objective 3: Empower youth and adults to develop lifelong healthy habits

Seven to nine hours of screen time per day for the average American kid does not leave much time for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommended 60 minutes a day of outside play. More than 15% of Michigan high school students are overweight or obese and less than 20% of Muskegon region adults engage in 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week, the third lowest ranked region in the State. Many in the health community have begun promoting trails as one answer to the obesity crisis, as well as health and behavior problems can lead have lifelong consequences. Muskegon County kids and adults alike need to be engaged in fun, physical activity. Trail use is a self-paced activity rather than a competition or side-by-side gym-based fitness, both of which many overweight adults find intimidating. Adventure sports like mountain biking have an undeniable power to stimulate young people and bring out their desire for challenge and excitement. This initial ease of access, proficiency development, and excitement is key to building the foundation of healthy, long-term physical activity habits.