The Downtown Norfolk Council values an active and healthy culture for Downtown visitors, workers and residents. We are collaborating with Healthy Norfolk and Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios to improve the quality of life in Downtown and make it easy for everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle. By encouraging walking and biking, promoting our plentiful recreation and exercise resources and hosting healthy events, the Downtown Norfolk Council is creating a fit and vibrant community!
Downtown’s eclectic and chef-driven food scene offers endless choices, but if you are looking for healthy alternatives there are some great options. Look for Jim White Approved menus that recommend healthy and nutritious meals at Downtown restaurants like Nordstrom Café, Smoothie King, The Green House Kitchen, Saffron Indian Bistro and Ya Ya Asian Gourmet House. Check out all of Downtown Norfolk's restaurants with healthy options here. From smoothies to salads to rice bowls, Downtowners love to eat healthy!
With four gyms Downtown and exercise facilities in almost every residential building, residents and workers can pop in for an early morning, lunchtime or evening workout any day of the week. No matter your preference or skill level, there is a free activity Downtown for you: running routes from Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios; play equipment at Town Point Park; yoga classes at Slover Library, Chrysler Museum of Art and The Plot; the Elizabeth River Trail along the waterfront; or climbing the stairs in one of our office towers. Check out all of our upcoming healthy Downtown events by visiting our calendar!
Walking & Running Routes
One of the simplest ways to improve your health is to start walking. Already an easily walkable neighborhood, Downtown Norfolk now has a 1-mile designated walking path from the American Heart Association. Research shows that walking for just 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes and lowers high cholesterol and blood pressure. The AHA Walking Path through Downtown creates a unique opportunity to increase physical activity and healthy habits to residents, businesses and visitors. Click here for a map of the path and tie on your walking shoes! Or check out the running/walking paths charted out by Jim White Fitness here, including 1.5 miles, 3k, and an 8k path.
The Virginia Zoo has partnered with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads in developing Zoo Tracks, a new walking program that encourages members and visitors to exercise and become a ‘Zoo Walker." YMCA staff configured six tracks throughout the Zoo that range from 900 to 2,540 steps (there are approximately 2,100 steps in one mile).
Norfolk is evolving into a cycling destination for those looking for a casual afternoon ride, commuting to work or exercising. The city has a renewed focus on providing safe and enjoyable riding experiences for all. In 2015 Norfolk adopted a bicycle and pedestrian strategic plan that provides a guide for creating biking corridors throughout the city. The first phase of this plan was implemented along a 4-mile loop in Ghent and Park Place that makes for an easy and safe ride straight into Downtown.
Downtown Norfolk is one of the most bikeable areas in Hampton Roads and with the recent launch of Pace Bike Share, there’s no reason not to take a ride! With Pace, riders can rent and return bikes from a multitude of bike hubs located throughout Downtown and from public bike racks throughout the city. There are also sharrows on Granby Street, ample bicycle parking and several bike maintenance stations.