Iowans Encouraged To Walk For Their Health This Wednesday

Northwest Iowa — October is Iowa Healthiest State month. And there’s a walk this Wednesday to commemorate — but also just to plant the seed of healthy activity in the minds of Iowans.

Northwest Iowa Community College Lifelong Learning And Recreation Center director, Dr. Greta Giese tells us that this has been happening for several years.

(as said:) “For 10 years Iowa has been working on healthy habits and healthy initiatives to help Iowans become healthier versions of themselves. And this year the Iowa Healthiest State annual walk is in its 10th anniversary. And so what they have done at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative is they’ve asked Delta Dental of Iowa to sponsor this walk each year, which basically asks Iowans to spend 30 minutes on the first Wednesday of the month of October walking for Better Health.”

She says walking is a really easy and affordable form of exercise that can be done by most people anytime and anywhere.

(as said:) “In fact for most of us. It’s a required part of our life to be able to walk to and from activities, job, meetings, school… And so walking is a great opportunity to get into some healthier habits during the month of October.”

Giese says the NCC community is joining in.

(as said:) “We’re encouraging our employees, our faculty, and staff, and even our students here at NCC to spend some time walking for 30 minutes on Wednesday, October 7th and with you know, COVID-19 and the precautions that we need to take we’re doing things a little differently. That’s kind of the theme of 2020 — doing things a little differently. Typically when we do the Healthiest State walk each year we gather together and we walk here at the LLRC. Or we walk around campus or on the beautiful Sheldon trail system and this year we’re trying not to gather but we’re still encouraging everybody to find 30 minutes… carve out 30 minutes on Wednesday, October 7th to walk anywhere they can safely and socially distanced from others. They can walk anytime it works in their schedule. Just get up and take that 30-minute walk.”

NCC isn’t the only institution in Sheldon participating. Kyle Zankowski at East Elementary says their students are doing a walk event as well.

He tells us that for the last month they have been starting a program called mileage club. He says students can run or walk an “Orab Lap” during morning recess. He tells us that when each one of the students completes an Orab Lap, they scan their badge, and this tracks how many each student, class, grade, and school does each day, week, or month.

Zankowski says for the event, each grade level will be outside for 30 minutes running or walking as many laps as they can, scanning their badge each lap. Each teacher will also be participating and completing as many as they can in order to win their class a prize (extra recess or extra PE classes, and a Gatorade for each student). He says they’ll be able to see how far their students went in one day.

Other northwest Iowa communities are also taking part. For instance, in Rock Rapids, they’re doing a 30-minute walk, which will begin at the Depot Museum on North Story Street at noon. They’ll walk until about 12:30 p.m. Rock Rapids Recreation Director Angie Jager says the walk is free and open to everyone.