Iowa participates in Healthiest State Walk

Families participate in 2013 Healthiest State Walk last year in efforts for a healthier Iowa.

Courtesy of Susan Gwiasda.

Families participate in 2013 Healthiest State Walk last year in efforts for a healthier Iowa.

Lauren Lee

On Oct. 8, 2014 people all across Iowa will be participating in the “Healthiest State Walk”.

The Healthiest State Initiative began a few years ago when the state of Iowa was nationally ranked and fell below desired standards for fitness and health. The ranking system grades all of the states based on many different categories including, but not limited to, chronic diseases, obesity, diabetes, binge drinking, smoking, physical inability and education.

According to Andrea Cardenas, Health Promotion Coordinator, “Iowa is good for education and okay on smoking, but not doing good on physical activity. That’s where ‘Healthiest State Walk’ comes in.”

After formerly ranking below the top 10 in the ranking system, Iowa has now moved up into the top 10 for “healthiest state.” The goal is to be number one in the nation for “healthiest state” by 2016.

This event is to raise awareness for healthy living. The purpose is to help people get out and move more on a daily basis and to encourage their friends and families to do the same. 

“I think it’s neat trying to do it as a state all at the same time. We are sort of forming a culture of health and wellness. And it’s neat that’s it coming from the state government, not just health organizations,” Cardenas said. 

On Wednesday, Ames residents and Iowa State students are encouraged to join Mayor Ann Campbell, city council members and other community members for the third annual “Healthiest State Walk” beginning at noon at City Hall, 515 Clark Ave.

Scheduled across the state, 18 of these “Healthiest State Walks” are happening in just Ames alone. Several of these one-kilometer “Healthiest State Walks” are even being offered on campus for the convenience of students.

Each walk is one kilometer which is about 7.5 city blocks or said to be a 12 minute stroll for the average walker. This is designed to allow small children and elderly people to participate as well.

The walk through downtown Ames will end at the Hy-Vee Drugstore parking lot.

This Healthiest State Initiative began with the Blue Zones Principle – researchers looking into areas where people live the longest quality lives and figuring out their secrets to healthy living. 

The Healthiest State Walk is designed to promote awareness for this physical endeavor to move more and live more physically active lifestyles.

Visit this website to find the closest “Healthiest State Walk” to get involved on Oct. 8.