DES MOINES, Iowa (September 25, 2014) – Organizers of the Healthiest State Initiative are asking Iowans to keep the momentum going by joining the one-kilometer Healthiest State Walk on Wednesday, Oct. 8. This year’s goal is 500,000 walkers, which would make it the largest statewide walk to date.
“It only takes one. One walk, one day and one commitment to help. We’re askingfor statewide community support for this year’s fourth annual 1K Healthiest State Walk,” said Terry Rich, chairman of this year’s Walk committee. “The ones are adding up, and the goal is to get a half-a-million Iowans walking as part of our effort to make this state the healthiest in the nation.”
Nearly 900,000 Iowans have participated in the Healthiest State Initiative’s walks in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The 2014 Healthiest State Walk is again being sponsored by Delta Dental of Iowa.
Many organized walks will be held at noon on Oct. 8, but walks are encouraged throughout the day. Iowans can join the movement by walking just one kilometer (.62 miles or roughly 12 minutes or 7.5 city blocks). To sign up for one of the many organized walks around the state or as an individual, visit http://www.iowahealthieststate.com. In order for walks to be counted, registration is required.
Here are some of the new walks to join in 2014:
· The Iowa National Guard is mobilizing its troops to lead families and residents in 1K walks at 52 armories across the state.
· With the focus on health care in 2014, many Iowa businesses have hired wellness coordinators and are doing the walk for the first time. According to Rich, this walk is a perfect event for those new health leaders.
· Political parties are urging candidates and their supporters to lead 1K walks in their local communities.
· Church leaders are encouraging parishioners to walk during Wednesday services.
· County health officials are leading walks through the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Continuing walks around the state include:
· Schools around the state are rounding up students to walk as part of National Walk to School Day. In addition, the Iowa Sports Foundation’s “Fall Fitness Day” is also October 8. One walk validates an eligible event for both the walk and Fitness Day event.
· You can shop and walk. Many Hy-Vee and Fareway stores across the state will again be hosting 1K walks.
“It’s time to rally with a team or to start your own team and get behind this great cause to help support a healthier Iowa. Join a group walk, walk as an individual or organize a group walk of your own,” said Rich. “It takes just one pledge to start your walk commitment.”
Returning this year is the Talk the Walk recruiting contest, where people can receive a $25 Hy-Vee gift card for recruiting others to walk. For every person successfully recruited, both the recruiter and the recruitee will be entered into a drawing for one of several Hy-Vee gift cards. For more details about the contest, visit http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/healthiest-state-walk/contest-details.
According to the 2013 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, Iowa is 10th in the nation when it comes to being physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. “Though cracking the top 10 is a great improvement from the 19th position we held when the Healthiest State Initiative was announced, we hope to claim the number one spot by 2016,” said Rich. “It’s ambitious, but with your help, we can change Iowa and show the rest of the nation the road to wellness. Take the pledge to create a healthier, happier Iowa by signing up for the walk today.”
The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their communities throughout the state. It involves individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector in a broad-based, community-focused effort. For more information, visit www.healthieststate.com.