The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 2, 2012

BIELEMA: Get out those shoes and head out for a walk Wednesday

By Charlene Bielema
Herald Editor

CLINTON — Get out your walking shoes and be ready to lace them up.

Wednesday marks the one-kilometer Healthiest State Walk, and we’re encouraging Clinton residents to get involved.

There will be at least three organized walks Wednesday — Hy-Vee will hold its walk at 11 a.m., starting at the front door and following the outer perimeter of the store. Lutheran Services in Iowa and Ashford University are also hosting walks that day at noon.

 Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds have called on fellow Iowans to join in the one-kilometer Healthiest State Walk on Wednesday as one part of an effort to become the healthiest state in the nation.

More than 291,000 Iowans participated in the Healthiest State Initiative’s “Start Somewhere” walk in 2011, including those who completed last year’s walk at Hy-Vee. While many organized Healthiest State walks will be held at noon Wednesday, walks are encouraged throughout the day.

Branstad and Reynolds announced last year 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.

Along with the large numbers of “Start Somewhere” walkers, 84 Iowa communities indicated an interest in becoming Blue Zones Project demonstration sites and the first four were announced in May. Six additional demonstration sites will be selected and a new program designed for small communities also has been created.

So do you want to participate but find you are unable to make it to an organized walk?

Don’t fret.

Organizers say you can participate in the event by taking your own walk.

Or you can play with your kids or do another activity to promote health and well-being.

We at the Herald will be putting on our pink T-shirts for breast cancer awareness month and making the Hy-Vee walk.

Won’t you join us?

Charlene R. Bielema has been employed with the Clinton Herald since June 1995. She has been the Herald’s editor since 2002.