Why I Walk: Van Harden

By Kendrew Panyanouvong on Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Van and Bonnie

Photo via Facebook/Van and Bonnie WHO

A change lifestyle and a spark of motivation have helped this local radio host lose over 100 pounds in the last year.

Van Harden, radio personality at WHO Radio and widely known for his morning show with duo Bonnie Lucas, “Van and Bonnie in the Morning,” set two goals for himself after realizing he needed a change his life in regards to his health.

One to rid of medications his doctor prescribed him to, and two to drop his excessive weight he was carrying.

“I got to feeling really bad physically. I wasn’t feeling good and couldn’t get up. I went to the doctors and I had all sorts of things wrong, mostly cause I was way overweight, “ said Harden. “I had everything. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, I was pre diabetic… I was way overweight.”

That’s when Harden decided walking for half an hour five times a week, starting in his hometown of Adel, Iowa, at the town’s high school track. Now, Harden says he’s walked over 34 different high school and college tracks since then.

7 months later and Harden had lost about 80 pounds – due to a combination in change of diet and by simply walking every day.

Walk with Van

“I knew I had to lose weight… I first started walking by myself, but if you have a friend or relative, what you’re going to find is that if you walk quite a ways, you can’t believe the distances you walk… it makes its easier,” he said.

He discovered that having others alongside when walking made it easier for him and more enjoyable, that’s why he started “Walk with Van.”

On the first Friday of every month, others can join Van on a morning walk to help support the benefit of walking starting at Fleet Feet a local running shop located downtown Des Moines.

To help encourage walking, Fleet Feet gives one lucky walker a prize after every walk with Harden.

“I would just encourage for everyone to go out and walk… once you start walking you’ll really enjoy it,” said Harden. “Just do it so you’ll enjoy and you’ll have fun, whether that means taking to someone with you or walking some creative walk… just have fun with it. Nobody has to make the rules; you get to make the rules."