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Physical Fitness & Activity

The Ohio State University (OSU) LiFEsports

LiFEsports is a free youth development program dedicated to serving economically disadvantaged children in the Columbus community. Their programs include a sports summer camp for youth ages 9 to 15, a youth leadership academy preparing youth ages 15-18 for college and future careers and community-based sports clinics throughout the year. Transportation is free to all campers via buses.
2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43210
(614) 688-3875

10TV Commit to Be Fit

Stay educated about fitness and staying healthy, and search for local events and stories of interest. Kids can sign up for the Kid’s Club to get emails about staying fit and also find health and fitness events that are happening in central Ohio. They can also make an online fitness plan and check their progress.
770 Twin Rivers Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 460-3700

Visit their website to register online for races, team sports and recreational activities. Users can interact with others who have similar interests and find out about fitness and nutrition. From 5K runs and marathons to cycling races, triathlons, baseball leagues, soccer camps, football tournaments, cheerleading clinics and more, the website allows people to search by sport and by location for local events of interest.
(877) 228-4881

Bikes for All People

Bicycling resources for all ages and levels of riders. A Community Development for All People program, sponsored in part by our Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative, Bikes For All People provides access to bicycles and cycling-related resources to those who rely on bikes as their sole means of transportation. They also accept donations and offer new and pre-owned bikes, parts, tools and cycling gear, group rides, free maintenance classes and an open repair shop.
934 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
(614) 670-8685

Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus

Serves youth ages 6 to 18 from all over Columbus. For $5 per year, the club offers a wide range of activities, exercise opportunities and healthy eating classes. They have summer programs available as well. Scholarships are available for families who cannot afford to pay.

  • Milo-Grogan Clubhouse
    1012 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
    (614) 294-4366
  • Westside Clubhouse
    115 South Gift Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    (614) 221-8830

Children’s Hunger Alliance CATCH Physical Fitness Program

Provides physical activity for elementary and middle school aged children at many after school programs throughout central Ohio. The 12-week program is offered at many sites, including churches, community centers and schools for children from families with a low income. Parents can find out more by talking to the staff of their child’s after school program.
1105 Schrock Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(800) 227-6446 or (614) 341-7700

Columbus Neighborhood Walking Maps

The Columbus Public Health Healthy Places Program has provided walking maps for neighborhoods throughout the city to add more physical activity to everyday life.
240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-5318

Columbus Recreation & Parks Department

Recreation centers offer fitness, sports and exercise opportunities for kids throughout Columbus. Go online to find the location nearest you.
1111 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 645-3330

Consider Biking

Offers information about local biking events and trails, and promotes bicycling in central Ohio.
4041 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 447-8894

Get Active Columbus

This website was recently started by the city of Columbus as a way for youth and families in Columbus to get people moving, eat well and live healthier lives. The website has free and low cost opportunities for families to live an active lifestyle.
240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-7417

Girls on the Run

Educates and prepare girls in 3rd through 8th grade for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Girls on the Run combines training for a running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions.
PO Box 21152, Columbus, Ohio 43221
(800) 901-9965


The Good4Growth program offers online toolkits to educate the community on the issues of obesity and other negative health outcomes, by offering offering ways to support a healthy diet, creative play, and a creative environment for children’s development and growth. They have many practical tips on nutrition and staying healthy and active.
7000 Cardinal Place, Dublin, Ohio 43017
(614) 757-5000

Greater Hilltop Area Shalom Zone

Faith based, non-profit organization based in Columbus’ Hilltop community. Some of their programs include Hilltop teen club, teen free store, basketball at their gym, their no-cost Westside CDF (Children’s Defense Fund) Freedom School, mentoring program, produce distribution, free legal clinic and more.
1665 Harrisburg Pike, Columbus, Ohio, 43223
(614) 398-1230

In My Backyard Health & Wellness Program

Provides free physical fitness, healthy cooking, gardening and health education programs during the summer months on the near east side, open to the general public. From yoga to African drums, people can participate in activities tailored to their level of fitness on Saturday mornings during the summer.
1905 Merryhill Drive, Columbus Ohio 43219
(614) 402-2089

Jewish Community Center (JCC)

Through its programs and services, the JCC provides a wide range of recreation and cultural arts, featuring festivals and fairs centered around books, films, and fine art; teen programs, summer and spring break camps for kids with and without special needs, after school programs, preschool and daycare, special events and more. At the JCC there is something for all ages.
1125 College Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 231-2731

Kids Health

This website offers a broad range of information on many topics for parents:

Metro Parks

Represents 16 natural area parks with more than 200 miles of trails in central Ohio. Go online to find the location nearest you and find out about upcoming programs and events.
1069 West Main Street, Westerville, Ohio 43081
(614) 891-0700

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Happy Healthy Preschoolers

A free program for parents of children ages 1 to 6 to learn about choosing healthy foods for their children and ways to keep them active. One-hour sessions are taught by community volunteers once per week for 6 weeks. Visit their website for a list of program dates and locations throughout Columbus.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-3503

Ohio Action for Healthy Kids

Go online to find programs in Franklin County for help in choosing the right foods, getting good medical advice, finding physical activity programs that address weight loss and more. Parents can search by zip code or category.
370 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 341-7700

Play Strong: Physical Activity Program

Nationwide Children’s Hospital – Sports Medicine developed Play Strong, a medically-supervised, wellness program that teaches children who have health problems ways to practice healthy habits at home by using play and fitness plans designed just for them. Children are referred to this program by their healthcare provider and the cost is billed to their medical insurance. Visit the Play Strong webpage for details.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 355-6019

Sesame Street in the Communities

Offers providers and parents resources to help children thrive and deal with some common issues that affect children’s lives. Explore topics related to health and wellness, social-emotional skills, and school readiness.

1900 Broadway, New York, New York 10023
(212) 595-3456
To view their additional toolkit:

Walk With a Doc

This free program is offered at several locations throughout Columbus on Saturday mornings to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages. Families and children can join a doctor and other people looking to improve their health at these free Walk With a Doc events each week. Walking offers many health benefits. Go online to find more information and program sites.
(614) 714-0407

We Can!

This national resource for parents and kids ages 8 to 13 helps kids stay at a healthy weight by encouraging healthy eating and increased physical activity.
PO Box 30105, Bethesda, Maryland 20824
(301) 592-8573

YMCA People Helping People Scholarship Program

Provides a helping hand to youth, adults and families based on individual needs and circumstances. All YMCA members receive the same membership benefits, regardless of whether or not they are receiving a scholarship. Scholarships and discounts are available for 6-month periods. Go online to apply.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1131

YMCA Strong Well Fit Program

Strong Well Fit is a free 12-week program that helps youth ages 8 to 16 and their parents make lifestyle changes to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. They meet two evenings per week for an hour. Children must have a BMI more than the 85th percentile to qualify (click to learn your BMI), and parents need to be involved as well. Participants do not need to be YMCA members to qualify. Call or go online for more information. It is currently offered at 3 local YMCAs.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 224-1142

YMCA Y-Kids are Fit

Allows kids to participate in physical activity and learn about fitness and nutrition at the same time. This program is offered at about 60 sites throughout Franklin, Delaware, Fairfield and Pickaway counties, including schools and after care sites. Parents can find out about programs by asking their after school sites about Y-Kids are Fit.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1131