The media buzz might be that Lexington is a sedentary city, but plenty of local activities exist that can contribute to a healthier lifestyle this summer. (Check out the story about Lexington being named the least-active city in America by Men's Health magazine.)
If you don't have a gym membership, or don't want one, visit some of these nearby spots to stay active and healthy:
Canoe Kentucky: Canoeing and kayaking might not be an everyday exercise routine, but you can give your arms a workout by paddling down Elkhorn Creek. For info, go to Canoeky.com or call 1-888-226-6359.
Farmers markets: Skip the fast food and add something fresh to your diet by visiting the farmers market. Most farmers markets can provide the fixings for a healthy meal. Go to Lexingtonfarmersmarket.com or Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org, or KYAGR.com/marketing/farmmarket/index.htm for a list of markets throughout the state.
Kentucky River Palisades: For people who prefer to enjoy the view of cliffs rather than climb them, the Jim Beam Nature Preserve has low-impact hiking through the Palisades' 800-foot-high limestone rocks. Go to Jessamineco.com/tourism.
Lake Reba Recreation Complex: This park in Richmond has batting cages, a jogging trail, a dog park, a swimming center and more to encourage active living. For information, go to Parks.richmond.ky.us.
Red River Gorge: Hike any of the hundreds of miles of trails, or go rock-climbing, spelunking or rafting in this area of the Daniel Boone National Forest. At Red River Gorge, you can get a gym workout with much better scenery. For a list of resources, go to RRGtoday.com.
YMCA Run the Streets: Get the kids in an exercise routine with this free running program, beginning July 25. Youth ages 10 to 18 are prepared by mentors to run a 10K in the fall. Go to YMCAofcentralky.org.
Weight Loss Support Group: The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department hosts "Eat, Move, Lose," a support group for people trying to reach a goal weight. A "Weight Loss Basics" class also is taught. Go to Lexingtonhealthdepartment.org or call (859) 288-2423.
LexDance: Let the music keep you moving. The Lexington area has organizations for contra dancing, swing dancing, Irish dancing and more. Most have open dances with beginner lessons before the main event. Go to Ravitz.us/ltda for contra dance information and links to other dance group sites.
Bike polo: If you like to ride a bike, drop by Coolavin Park, 550 West Sixth Street, at 6 p.m. Wednesdays or 4 p.m. Sundays and jump into a game of bike polo. No experience is necessary, and equipment is available to borrow. Go to Lexrides.com.
Good Foods Co-op: July is Eat Local Month at the co-op, but classes and workshops year-round help educate people about healthy eating. A staff dietitian is available three days a week for consultations. Go to Goodfoods.coop or call 278-1813.
Humane Society Pet Partners: If you don't own a pet, you can volunteer to walk a dog that is waiting to be adopted. You'll give an animal a chance to run around outside, and if you participate in playtime, you will be sneaking in some exercise yourself. Go to Lexingtonhumanesociety.org.
Katie Saltz is a new mother and a local freelance writer.