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In October 2011, Gov. Terry Branstad led a "Start Somewhere Walk" outside of the Iowa Capitol and invited communities across the state to do the same. It was a call to action for all Iowans to prioritize their health and make physical activity part of their daily routines.

Each year after that, a Healthiest State Annual Walk has been held on the first Wednesday of October and hundreds of thousands of Iowans have participated over the course of a decade. Ten years later, we are still making strides towards becoming the healthiest state in the nation, but we want to celebrate the steps we have taken.

In 2020, we invite all Iowans to Team Up for 10 and to help us celebrate 10 years of the event. Registration for the Healthiest State 10th Annual Walk on October 7 is now open! Households, schools, workplaces and communities can sign up and participate by walking for 30 minutes.

We know that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your walk event may look different this year. We still invite you to "team up" – whether that means with members of your household, in a smaller group, in a socially-distant fashion or even as a virtual team. However you choose to walk on October 7, we hope you still embrace the spirit of teamwork it takes to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.

The Annual Walk is a great reminder for Iowans to incorporate physical activity, like walking, into their daily routines. Walking is the easiest, most affordable and accessible form of physical activity. Now, more than ever, it is important to prioritize our health and overall wellness.

Walking is not only beneficial for your physical health – but your social, emotional and mental health as well. Walking lightens your mood and has been shown to help to reduce anxiety, depression and social withdrawal. Even if you’re not able to walk with others this year, you can still cheer on your team members virtually.

There may already be a walk planned in your community or you can register your own walk on behalf of your household, school, workplace, organization or group of individuals. View a map of planned walks or register your own at www.IowaHealthiestState.com/Walk.

Registering a walk is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Register! Registration is free and easy. Register early to start gathering your team and building excitement.

2. Organize! Plan a 30-minute route. Walk over your lunch break or in the evening time — whenever is most convenient for you.

3. Get the word out! The Healthiest State Initiative has free online resources to help make your walk a success, including a social media guide and posters, communication templates and print-your-own stickers!

Join us on October 7 to improve your own physical, mental and social health along with being part of a greater effort to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. If you do walk with us, please share on social media using #TeamUpFor10.

Together, we can keep walking and improving Iowa’s health into the next decade!



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