The City of Marion will join with thousands of other Iowans in a one-kilometer Healthiest State Walk at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3. Local walkers will meet at Thomas Park, 335 Marion Blvd., and are encouraged to wear their favorite school colors since it is homecoming week for both Marion school districts.
State organizers hope to involve even more than the 291,000-plus Iowans who participated in the Healthiest State Initiative’s “Start Somewhere” walk in 2011. A kilometer is about 7.5 city blocks, a 12-minute stroll for the average walker. Walkers can sign up for the event at www.iowahealthieststate.com.
“Iowans showed their extraordinary support of the Healthiest State Initiative with last year’s walk,” said Jill Ackerman, president of the Marion Chamber of Commerce. “By itself, of course, a one-kilometer walk is not enough to change the health of the state, but we’re encouraging even more residents of Marion to join in this year’s event and maintain our momentum toward becoming the healthiest state.”
In 2011, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announced the plan to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation within five years as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. In 2011, Iowa ranked 16th compared to all other states, up from the 19th position in 2010.
“The intent of the Healthiest State Walk is to encourage Iowans to take their own steps that will help us improve our state’s well-being rank,” Branstad said when announcing the 2012 walk date. ”The Healthiest State Initiative this year will continue to champion existing well-being programs with special emphasis on encouraging local walk groups, workplace well-being, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and smoking cessation. Progress in these areas will translate to a healthier Iowa and better quality of life for all its residents.”
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.iowahealthieststate.com.