Registration for the Healthiest State 10th Annual Walk, presented by Delta Dental of Iowa, is now open. On Wednesday, October 7, thousands of Iowans across the state will participate in walks at schools, workplaces and in their communities.
Registration is free and easy: VisitIowaHealthiestState.com/Walk to sign-up as a group, household or individual. The Healthiest State Annual Walk started in October 2011, when Gov. Terry Branstad invited all Iowans to take part in a "Start Somewhere Walk." The event was a call to action for Iowans to improve their health. Ten years later, we are still making strides towards becoming the healthiest state in the nation!
"Taking steps to improve your health is more important now than ever," said Jami Haberl, executive director for the Healthiest State Initiative. "Due to COVID-19, we know that your Annual Walk team may look a little different this year, but walking is still a safe and accessible way to stay active during this unprecedented time."
Walking is not only good for your physical health, but also has benefits for Iowans' mental, social and emotional wellbeing. The theme "Team Up For 10" celebrates the decade milestone and encourages Iowans to "team up" to reap the health benefits of walking - whether that is by walking with members of your household, in small groups, in a socially-distant manner or by cheering on your team members virtually.
"Delta Dental of Iowa is proud to be the presenting sponsor and longtime supporter of the Healthiest State Annual Walk," said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa and Board President of the Healthiest State Initiative. "As a health and wellness company, we know the benefits of getting preventive dental and vision exams, but overall health also includes physical activity like walking. Walking 30 minutes a day can have a positive effect on your overall health and emotional wellbeing."
Those who register for the Healthiest State 10th Annual Walk will have access to resources, such as communications templates, social media guide, customizable posters and a month-long walking calendar. The Healthiest State Initiative is also hosting two contests:
- School Mascot Challenge: The first 64 schools who register will automatically be entered in the School Mascot Challenge. Fans will be able to vote weekly in the bracket-style competition and the winner will be announced following the Annual Walk on October 7. The winning mascot will earn their school $1,000 to spend on a health and wellness project.
- Community Walk Mini Grant: The Healthiest State Initiative has partnered with the Iowa Parks and Recreation Association to award mini grant(s) to community parks and recreation departments to promote walking in their community and register for the Healthiest State 10th Annual Walk. Applications due Sept. 4. See full details and apply at IowaHealthiestState.com/Walk.
Celebrate 10 years with us! Show your excitement for the Healthiest State 10th Annual Walk by posting a photo from your walk (or walks from years past) and use the hashtag #TeamUpFor10 on social media. For more information and to register a walk, visitIowaHealthiestState.com/Walk.
Healthiest State Month in October
The Healthiest State Annual Walk also acts as a kick-off event for Healthiest State Month celebrating 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! across the state. Iowans are encouraged to keep practicing healthy habits, including physical activity, throughout October. Schools, workplaces, health care clinics, communities and households can download toolkits to help them celebrate Healthiest State Month at IowaHealthiestState.com/HSIMonth.