Healthiest State Annual Walk Highlights Physical Activity and Social Connectedness

By Chase Langos on Monday, October 10, 2022

Iowans across the state participated in the 12th Annual Walk, presented by Delta Dental of Iowa, by walking for 30 minutes on Wednesday with friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and classmates.

“Physical activity and social connectedness are two of the most important factors in our physical and mental health,” said Jeff Russell, President and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa and Board President of the Healthiest State Initiative. ”Delta Dental is proud to sponsor an event that brings Iowans together to improve their health.”

Russell and the Healthiest State Initiative staff traveled to Breda on Wednesday for their walk to celebrate their 1st place finish in the first ever Iowa League of Cities Iowa Cities Walking Challenge. Thanks to the participation and passion of Iowans across the state the Healthiest State Initiative hit both its goals for the 12th Annual Walk; 1,000 total walks registered statewide and at least one walk in every county. Thank you to all who participated! Visit our Facebook to check out the photo album from the day!


Throughout October, the Healthiest State Initiative and partner organizations will continue to focus on healthy habits by celebrating Healthiest State Month. Each week will focus on the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! healthy habits:

October 3-7: 1 hour or more of physical activity
October 10-14: 5 or more fruits or vegetables
October 17-21: 2 hours or less of recreational screen time
October 24-28: 0 sugary drinks – drink more water!
October 26: 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Summit

To learn more about how you can participate, download free resources, or register for the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Summit, visit

League of Cities Iowa Cities Walking Challenge Winner Announced

In 2022, the Healthiest State Initiative partnered with the Iowa League of Cities to create the Iowa Cities Walking Challenge. Participating cities were invited to register a walk and see who could register the highest percentage of their population for the walk. With 40% of their population registered, the first ever winner is Breda! The city of Breda will receive $1,000 towards continued health and wellness initiatives in their community. The Healthiest State team and Board President Jeff Russell attended the Breda walk to celebrate their win. Congrats Breda!

School Mascot Challenge Winner Announced

In the weeks leading up to the Healthiest State Annual Walk, the Healthiest State Initiative hosted the School Mascot Challenge on social media. We are excited to announce that our 2022 Mascot Challenge winner is Ogden Community School District! Ogden CSD will receive $1,000 towards a health and wellness project at their school and community. The finals matchup between 2021 winner IKM-Manning and Ogden was close, with just 13 votes separating the two schools in the end!

Community Walk Mini Grant Recipient Announced

Earlier this month, the Healthiest State Initiative, and the Iowa Parks & Recreation Association (IPRA) partnered to provide a mini grant opportunity for IPRA members to receive funding to support the Healthiest State Annual Walk event and walkability efforts in their community. The winner was recognized at the IPRA Fall Workshop on October 5. Congratulations to Dallas Center! Their community will receive $500 towards a community wellness project, and we can’t wait to share the completed project in 2023!


The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions, and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit