A south central Iowa town is coordinating numerous efforts to encourage healthier habits, lifestyles and an overall a better sense of community this summer.
The town of Pleasantville, Iowa, is trying to steer residents in a healthier direction, offering various different initiatives like an 8-week summer boot camp, weekly running and walking groups, a “Biggest Loser” challenge and more.
Barbara Storm, of Pleasantville, has lived in the town for 7 years – but has been rooted in the community for ages, with some of her family members being original settlers.
Storm, a prideful advocate of her community, says a lot of the healthy initiatives going on are centered on community - mainly geared towards the youth and to bring people together.
She also said that the town is expected to only grow in the coming years, with hopes of more people participating.
“For me, this is partially a way to get to know more people in the community and develop healthier habits,” said Storm. “It helps build the community as well – we’re growing quite a bit right now… we’re a small town and its wonderful place to raise families.”
With many things going on this summer in Pleasantville, it shouldn’t be too hard to find something to do to stay active and healthy.
The ongoing summer boot camp is not only a fitness and weight loss program, but a community fundraiser as well to improve community facilities needs like local baseball fields, high school amenities and other needs. In addition, a running and walking club meets every Friday to help prepare for the town’s upcoming Firecracker 5K race on July 1. The “Biggest Loser” challenge, which has recently started up, is designed as a support group at no cost and completely voluntary, she said.
“It is helping people and getting people talking and about other things available in the community,” Storm said. “All these things in the community help make it attractive.”
Tami Bingham, who leads the boot camp workouts, says that the boot camp has become a great way for members of the community to get to know each other and for people to concentrate on healthier decisions.
“It’s been a great way to meet people. You kind of get stuck in your group of friends and you don’t branch out… I met a ton of people I didn’t know who had kids who are older than mine, younger than mine,” Bingham said.
Workouts vary, but Bingham has found most popular that people are enjoying tabata, kickboxing, and other weight and cardio routines.
“I think besides the general things that are good for you, the mood boosting, and just being healthy in general are helping people concentrating on what they’re doing,” she said.
In addition, the town has Sunday yoga sessions, a local greenhouse and a community garden where people can reserve their own section to plant fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It’s been along time coming, a lot of good like-minded folks. We’re just seeing it come together now… everyone benefits for being healthier,” Storm said.