City Guide 2019: How Metro Detroiters Are Prioritizing Health and Wellness

Resources abound for those looking to embrace a fit lifestyle
Dave Harkcom, Detroit

This is a chance for us to get people together. It’s like a house party, kind of.

The search for better, more enjoyable ways of getting and staying fit is a goal held by many. In Detroit, Dave Harkcom has made it his mission to help.

Harkcom, a salsa instructor of 15 years, has been holding free Cuban salsa events with Detroit Casineros in Chene Park over the past six years. While this style of Cuban dance gets people moving, it’s the social aspect that appeals to Harkcom most.

“Salsa involves changing partners and dancing in a circle,” he says, which encourages students to mingle. Social interaction and camaraderie coupled with physical activity are natural catalysts for healthy living.

Minister Freedom Allah, Ferndale

My journey as a vegan started here with Natural Food Patch. Whole Foods can’t compete.

If you’ve got the movement part down, and your social skills are up to par, eating well is the next step.

Minister Freedom Allah, who works in Ferndale, says the city helped him transition to a vegan diet. He says Natural Food Patch was one of the few places that carried what he calls “real vegan food.”

Thankfully today, there are an increasing number of vegan eateries as well as other businesses helping you cultivate a healthy regimen overall.

—Ashley Winn

Activities to Support Your Health and Wellness Goals

Photograph courtesy of Title Boxing Club Macomb

Title Boxing Club

Attend boxing, kickboxing, or MMA classes, all of which offer a trainer-led, full-body workout. All fitness levels are welcome. Visit for locations.

Better Health

With 14 locations across the state, there’s likely a Better Health store near you, where you can purchase products that contain only quality ingredients, including produce, supplements, household items, and more. Visit for locations.

Detroit Casineros

Hosting events from Detroit to Birmingham and beyond, this dance group facilitates gatherings of those passionate about the art of Cuban salsa. Follow Detroit Casineros @unabulla on Facebook for their upcoming events and locations.

Level 10 Fitness

Participate in group fitness, semi-private training, or nutrition coaching within a tightknit community. 4109 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-436-4267;

Naked Fuel

The first juice bar in the area to champion the notion of “food as medicine,” the eatery offers nutrient-dense smoothies, wholesome salads, and filling sandwiches.
6718 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-325-9735;

Natural Food Patch

This health food store offers organic produce, vitamins, health drinks, herbal teas, and vegan and vegetarian options. 221 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-546-5908;

One Spirit Dance and Fitness

Get fit while learning a new skill at this studio, which offers belly dancing, burlesque, and yoga. 118 W. Main St., 2nd Fl., Pinckney; 517-294-5066;

The Sprout House Natural Food Market

This organic food store serves vegetarian and vegan soups and sandwiches from its deli. The market offers beauty products, too. 15233 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-331-3200;

City Guide 2019: Welcome to Waterford