Iowans from all corners of our state will be walking together on Oct. 3.


The Terrace Park Travelers will walk a loop around their assisted living facility in Leon. Students at Sacred Heart School in Spencer will walk to the park together. Carroll County Public Health employees will gather for a walk over their lunch break.


No matter your age or physical ability, the Healthiest State Initiative invites you to join the eighth annual Healthiest State Annual Walk.


Since 2011, hundreds of thousands of Iowans have walked on the first Wednesday of October and we’ve seen a growing trend towards making Iowa communities more walkable. Communities are adopting Complete Streets policies, hiring staff dedicated to incorporating walkability into transportation plans and launching walking school buses so kids can walk or bike safely to school.


This annual event 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 and one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s also a great way connect with others. Invite a friend or family member on a walk with you – by walking with them, you get to catch up and refresh your mind, and the physical benefits will add up, too.


Lace up your walking shoes and join us on Oct. 3. There may already be a walk planned in your community or you can register your own walk for a school, workplace, organization or group of individuals. View a map of planned walks or register your own at www.IowaHealthiestState.com/Walk.


Let Oct. 3 be a step in the right direction for your health. Invite a friend for an after-dinner walk, take care of weekend errands with your family on foot, invite your co-workers to join you for a walking meeting or organize a neighborhood walking group. Along the way you’ll build strong bonds and a stronger body.


Jami Haberl is executive director of Iowa Healthiest State Initiative.