Annual ‘Health Walk’ Continues to Grow in 6th Year

DES MOINES, Iowa --  In 2015, the Healthiest State Initiative intended to have organized walks in all of Iowa’s 99 counties and in 2016 they are going even bigger.

There are hundreds of walks scheduled for the state and 150 of them alone in Polk County. Not only are they adding more walks they are asking you to walk further.

“What were our legs made for, to walk, you know? So let’s start small with the walking,” said Jami Haberl, Executive Director of the Healthiest State Initiative. “The ultimate goal is to encourage Iowans to get out and walk 30 minutes every day an achievement that will help make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.”

The initiative is bumping up the suggested walking time to 30 minutes after a recommendation from the United States Surgeon General during his “Step it Up” campaign.

“I always recommend people start out slow, start out small. Do five, 10 minutes, then build up to that 30 minutes. Then if you have the time to block out 30 minutes do it,” said Haberl.

Haberl goes onto to say that if you can stick with those small steps, you can see big results.

Doug Adamson can attest to that as he went through his own health transformation that started with small steps.

“I weighed over 300 pounds,” said Adamson, with a wincing look, about when he was at his heaviest.

He was like most of us who have ever tried to lose weight.  He’d get into that vicious cycle of starting and stopping a diet. Until one day, he had a doctor’s visit that didn’t go so well.

“My blood pressure was up to the point where it was in the danger zone, for the first time in my life,” said Adamson.

So, just over six years ago, Adamson started his weight loss journey with just a few steps.

“It was all about moving, it wasn’t necessarily about exercising. It was just about moving,” said Adamson.

Just getting up and moving was the start of something big for Doug. He lost 100 pounds and kept it off. Of course, there is a ton more to his story but we just wanted to give you the quick version. Because, Doug is the golden standard for what the Healthiest State Initiative is trying to do with its statewide walk.

If you walk away with anything from Doug’s story, every journey starts somewhere and it can start today with just talking a stroll.

“Absolutely, do it. It’s been a big difference in my family. We’re eating healthier. We’re doing things we never thought about doing before,” said Adamson.