More than 297,000 Iowans walked to support the Healthiest State Initiative on Wednesday, topping last year's walk count by approximately 6,000 walkers.
"Once again, Iowans turned out in extraordinary numbers to support our effort to become the healthiest state in the nation," said Ric Jurgens, chair of the Healthiest State Initiative board. "A one-kilometer walk, by itself, won't change a person's health. But participating in the Healthiest State Walk sends a message about our commitment as Iowans to our ambitious goal. It brings communities and colleagues together to say, 'We're going to do this.'"
In August 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, moving up from the 19th position in 2010.
Easton Vest, age one, got “out in front of the pack” at the Iowa Healthiest Walk at the Toledo City Park on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Deb Peska, coordinator for the Toledo Healthy Lifestyles Center, said 65 persons registered for the event including residents of Carrington Place of Toledo, Sunny Hill Care Center, Pheasant Ridge Care Facility, Tama County Career Development Center, the Healthy Lifestyles Center and other area walkers. Eaton is the son of Kirstyn and Matt Vest, Tama.
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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: