Seven years ago, the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative launched the “start somewhere” walk as an opportunity to engage Iowans to join us in making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. Since then we have expanded the walk from a 1-kilometer to a 30-minute walk. We have also seen a growing interest from Iowans in making communities more walkable, as demonstrated through an increase in communities adopting complete street policies, incorporating biking and transit into transportation plans and launching walking school buses so children can walk or bike safely to school. This is just the beginning and we are encouraged by Iowans desire to improve walkability across the state.
Walking is the easiest, most affordable and accessible form of physical activity and one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s also one of the best ways to connect with others. Through walking, you get to catch up and refresh your mind, and the physical benefits add up, too.
This year’s annual walk theme is Walk More. Connect More. as we encourage Iowans to walk 30-minutes a day and extend an invitation to a co-worker, family or friend.
On October 4, the seventh Healthiest State Annual Walk will be held across the state and we need your help to reach our goal of having at least one walk in all 99 counties. In order for the walk to count towards our goal, register your school, worksite or community walk at http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/events/annual-walk/. There is no cost to register and we don’t require individual walkers to register. There are toolkits available that include templates such as posters, sample e-mails and social media posts along with the opportunity to purchase t-shirts.
To keep the competitive spirit alive, we have social media contests where individuals, schools and communities have the opportunity to win prizes. To download the toolkits, order t-shirts or to learn more about the contests visit http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/events/annual-walk/resources/.
The Healthiest State’s Annual Walk represents more than just 30 minutes of walking. It represents our dedication to the long-term goal of changing the lives of Iowans by making healthy choices easy. It shows how devoted we are to the future of the communities where we live, work and play.
Together we can do something great for ourselves and for Iowans across the state.