Less than 25% of American adults get enough exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).* Regular physical activity is known to help prevent and manage many physical conditions including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and several cancers, but it also helps improve mental health and overall quality of life and well-being.

It was the combination of physical, mental and social health benefits that Priority Health, a nationally recognized nonprofit health benefits company, had in mind when it partnered with the National Fitness Campaign to build Priority Health Fitness Courts® in Michigan. The Fitness Courts are free outdoor exercise facilities designed to provide a full body (and mind!) workout with no weights required.

More than muscles

We all know that exercising impacts your physical health. It can help you lose weight, gain muscle and give you energy. But exercise also packs a punch when it comes to improving mental health.

Physical activity releases endorphins, a chemical in the brain that makes you feel happy, and is an outlet for negative emotions and excess adrenaline. All of which help us reduce feelings of stress, depression and anxiety. Regular physical activity also helps improve sleep, which positively impacts mental health.

And, as an outdoor gym, the Fitness Courts provide exposure to fresh air, sunshine and Vitamin D, which can help improve mood while strengthening the immune systems and reducing inflammation.

Better together

The Fitness Courts are more than just a gym alternative, and for good reason. Exercising with family or friends increases motivation and consistency, provides support and camaraderie, and makes us more willing to step outside our comfort zone.

For instance, if you make plans to meet a friend, you don’t want to let them down by not showing up. If your kids can play on the playground while you exercise, you don’t need to worry about finding childcare. If you’re short on time, you can combine a date night picnic with a strength training session.

That’s why most Fitness Courts are located within an existing city park, making them community gathering places that support connectedness and foster relationships. With the Fitness Courts, Priority Health is not only championing the physical and mental health of Michigan residents, but helping to build stronger communities.

A healthier, happier Michigan

Since 2019, 20 Fitness Courts have been built across the state. By the end of 2025, Fitness Courts are expected to reach one-third of communities in Michigan. That’s approximately 3.3 million Michiganders!

Priority Health takes pride in giving back to Michigan communities. We’re not just the people helping you be your healthiest, we’re your friends and neighbors. And, who knows, we might just be the person working out next to you on the Fitness Court.

Visit the Priority Health Fitness Court website to find a location near you. Below are just a couple locations you can check out:

  • Civic Center Park: 200 N Log Cabin Rd, Garden City
  • Ford Recreation Center: 10 Pitkin St, Highland Park
  • Huffman Park: 400 W Cowan Ave, Madison Heights
  • Allison Park: 18250 Beech Daly, Redford

And if you visit one of the Fitness Courts, be sure to share your experience by tagging @PriorityHealth or using our official hashtag #priorityhealthfitnesscourts on Instagram.

Priority Health is a nationally recognized nonprofit health benefits company focused on improving the health and lives of members across Michigan. Priority Health, part of the Corewell Health nonprofit health system is recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation.

* www.cdc.gov