By Jami Haberl, Executive Director, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative

We’ve got a big goal this year, Iowans, and we need your help to achieve it. The Healthiest State Annual Walk is celebrating its ninth year. To celebrate, our goal is to have walks registered in all 99 counties across the state with a total of (at least) 900 walks.

Help us reach our goal and take a step in the right direction for your health by walking for 30 minutes on October 2. The Annual Walk is an opportunity for your school, workplace or community group to join thousands of other Iowans in a collective effort to improve the wellness of our state.

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 to improve our health. It increases our cardiovascular health and leads to stronger bones and improved balance.

Walking is also great for our mental health. Exercise releases endorphins which have a positive effect on our mood. Walking can also help reduce stress and anxiety. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed or unfocused – try taking a short walk to clear your mind.

Lastly, we walk together on October 2 to connect with other members of our communities and improve our social health. The Annual Walk is a great way connect with others. Invite a friend, family member or neighbor to walk with you – by walking with them, you will both reap the physical, mental and social benefits.

Want to join us? There may already be a walk planned in your community or you can register your own walk on behalf of a school, workplace, organization or group of individuals. View a map of planned walks or register your own at

Registering a walk is as easy as 1-2-3:
Register! Registration is free and easy. Register early to increase your chances to win prizes and build excitement.
Organize! Your walk can be as simple or spectacular as you’d like it to be! Walk over your lunch break or in the evening time — whenever is most convenient for your group.

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

Join us on October 2 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 #GetYourWalkOn2019. We appreciate your support in helping us reach our goal, one walk at a time.