12th Annual Healthiest State Walk - "Walk More. Connect More."

posted on Monday, August 1, 2022

Register today for the statewide walk on October 5th!

Registration for the Healthiest State 12th Annual Walk, presented by Delta Dental of Iowa, is now open. On Wednesday, October 5, thousands of Iowans across the state will participate in organized walks at schools, workplaces and in their cities.

Registration is free and easy: Visit IowaHealthiestState.com/Walk to sign-up as an individual, school, workplace, or organization to walk for 30 minutes any time on October 5.

“Staying physically active is key in maintaining our physical and mental health,” said Jami Haberl, executive director for the Healthiest State Initiative. “Taking the first step towards being healthy, active, and connected through the Annual Walk can help Iowan’s across the state live healthier lives.”

RELATED: Access free Annual Walk resources

The 2022 theme “Walk More. Connect More.” highlights both the physical benefits of walking and the social benefits of staying connected to your friends, family, and community. Being physically active is one of the most important steps that people of all ages and abilities can take to improve their health, and integrating exercise with social activities has been shown to have a positive impact on our overall health

"As a health and wellness company, Delta Dental of Iowa encourages walking as an easy way for Iowans to incorporate movement into their day," said Jeff Russell, president and CEO, Delta Dental of Iowa. "For more than 10 years, Delta Dental has proudly sponsored the Healthiest State Walk and other activities because we know that healthy communities are essential for the overall health and wellness of our state."

Why Walk? Top 10 Benefits of Walking

Studies have shown that walking or exercising with others provides supportive relationships for behavior change. Walking within communities creates more opportunities for social cohesion and personal interactions while increasing safety, reducing pollution and boosting local businesses.

“Walking is an easy and accessible way to stay physically active, socially connected, and mentally healthy,” said Kathryn Kunert, Annual Walk Co-Chair and MidAmerican Energy Vice President of Economic Connections and Integrations. “MidAmerican Energy is thrilled to be a part of the Healthiest State Annual Walk this year to spread the message about wellbeing across Iowa.”

Walk Together: Printable October Walking Calendar

Those who register for the Healthiest State 12th Annual Walk will have access to resources, such as communications templates, social media guides, customizable posters and a month-long walking calendar. The Healthiest State Initiative is also hosting three contests:

  • School Mascot Challenge: The first 64 schools who register will automatically be entered in the School Mascot Challenge. Fans will be able to vote weekly in the bracket-style competition and the winner will be announced following the Annual Walk on October 5.  The winning mascot will earn their school $1,000 to spend on a health and wellness project.
  • Community Walk Mini Grant: The Healthiest State Initiative has partnered with the Iowa Parks and Recreation Association to award mini grant(s) to community parks and recreation departments to promote walking in their community and have registered for the Healthiest State 12th Annual Walk. Applications due September 9th. See full details and apply HERE.
  • Iowa Cities Walking Challenge: The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative has partnered with the Iowa League of Cities to challenge cities across the state to walk together as a community. The city with the highest percentage of their population registered will win a cash prize to continue healthy living habits in their city! Register for your city's walk as an individual to participate. Learn more here!

Show your excitement for the Healthiest State 12th Annual Walk by posting a photo from your walk (or walks from years past) and use the hashtag #WalkMoreConnectMore or #HSIWalk2022 on social media. For more information and to register a walk, visit IowaHealthiestState.com/Walk.

Healthiest State Month in October

The Healthiest State Annual Walk also acts as a kick-off  event for Healthiest State Month celebrating 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! across the state. Iowans are encouraged to keep practicing healthy habits, including physical activity, throughout October. Schools, workplaces, health care clinics, communities and households can download toolkits to help them celebrate Healthiest State Month at IowaHealthiestState.com/HSIMonth.