Plans underway for Healthiest State Walk

On Oct. 4, 2012 hundreds of Marshall County residents took the first step to better health.

They took thousands of paces, burned hundreds of thousands of calories and walked miles and miles as part of the second annual Healthiest State Initiative.

Now, the same privately led, publicly-endorsed group which sponsored walks last year and in 2011 is challenging more county residents and Iowans to participate in the 2013 event.

Nearly 600,000 Iowans participated in the initiative’s 2011 and 2012 walks.

The task is to walk one kilometer or 7.5 blocks at public walk sites or on their own Oct. 9, with the ultimate goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.

According to the 2012 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Iowa is 9th in the nation when it comes to being physically fit. In 2011 the state was ranked 16th.

And the third time may be the charm for the initiative in Marshalltown, as a record number of public walk sites have registered with event coordinators Angie Paxson, Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Health and Wellness director and Sue Fehrmann, Y Health and Wellness coordinator.

Co-sponsoring the event are Marshalltown’s Fareway and Hy-Vee stores.

“We are pleased,” Fehrmann said. “To date we have seven sites officially registered. And four are new.”

Now it is up to folks to show up and walk.

Hannah Kubicek, Hy-Vee dietitian, is working to sign up as many employees and customers as possible.

“We have signs throughout the store and have messages on the store intercom,” she said. “Walking is a wonderful way to get going on a wellness plan and maintain fitness.”

The Hy-Vee and Fareway groups will walk to the Marshalltown Y, where post-walk activities are pending.

Beverages and snacks will be provided by Fareway and Hy-Vee.

The Healthy State Initiative is a privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their committees 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. Visit