“Get Your Walk On in Waukon” at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative Annual Walk October 4


Get your walk on in Waukon ... The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative is asking Iowans to #GetYourWalkOn in Waukon October 4 and walk for 30 minutes at this 7th annual event, and to walk 30 minutes every day thereafter. Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon will host a walk beginning at Noon. The route will follow the WalkMore.ConnectMore route around the golf course, returning to the hospital. This 1.4 mile route walk will conclude at the hospital’s main entrance where free wellness testing, educational displays, photo booth and light refreshments will all be available. Pictured are Reegan and Ryder Benzing, children of Ryland and Shannon Benzing, enjoying the refreshments following the Veterans Memorial Hospital annual walk in August during the Corn Days celebration. Submitted photo.

This year’s Healthiest State Annual Walk is encouraging Iowans to “Get Your Walk On” by walking 30 minutes Wednesday, October 4. Businesses, schools and communities are all encouraged to register a walk at www.iowahealthieststate.com.

Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon will host a walk in cooperation with this healthiest state initiative Wednesday, October 4 at Noon.  Anyone interested in joining the walk is directed to gather in the main entrance parking area of the hospital.  The route will follow the WalkMore.ConnectMore route around the golf course, returning to the hospital. This 1.4 mile route walk will conclude at the hospital’s main entrance where free wellness testing, educational displays, a photo booth and light refreshments will all be available.

Being physically active is one of the most important steps that people of all ages and abilities can take to improve their health. Increasing people’s physical activity level will significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease and premature death and support positive mental health and healthy aging.

To obtain health benefits, the U.S. Surgeon General recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week and that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Despite the health benefits, only one-half of U.S. adults reported levels of physical activity consistent with the guideline.    

Walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s also one of the best ways to connect with others. In walking with friends or family, one can catch up and refresh the mind. Invite a friend or co-worker for an after-lunch walk, take care of weekend errands with family on foot, or invite neighbors to start a casual walking group. Along the way, everyone will build strong bonds and memories.

The physical benefits of walking include the following: Decrease in premature death,  improve diabetes, reduce risk of dementia, treatment of hypertension, prevent obesity or mitigate risk of obesity, strengthen bones and improve balance, and reduce joint and muscular stiffness and pain.
 The social benefits of walking provide supportive relationships for behavior change, provide friendship and support through buddy systems/walking groups and create social cohesion.

 The emotional benefits of walking reduce symptoms of anxiety, increase energy levels, improve sleep quality, increase psychological well-being, improve cognitive functioning and promote the release of endorphins - “happy” hormones and release adrenaline - the body’s own “mood-lifting” chemical.
 People can get substantial health benefits through brisk walking or by adding brisk walking to other physical activities. Walking is an excellent way for most Iowans to increase their physical activity.  Walking is an easy way to start and maintain an active lifestyle. It is inexpensive, can be done year round, and is available to most all people. Walking is a common form of physical activity, inclusive of all demographics - young, middle-aged and elderly. Walking also has purpose to get some place, have fun, socialize, walk the dog, or just exercise!

Walk for 30 minutes every day, not just October 4.  For more walk information on the upcoming 7th annual Healthiest State Initiative Walk, call Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.

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