Groups of dancers, joggers, runners and walkers of all ages used their noon hour Wednesday to express their commitment to wellness.
Be it dancing or walking, all was part to continue an initiative announced last year by Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.
In 2011, Iowa ranked 16th compared to all other states, advancing from 19th in 2010.
T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Shown are a number of Healthiest State Walk participants on a portion of the Linn Creek Recreation Trail Wednesday afternoon. Approximately 80 Marshalltown area residents walked one kilometer to the YMCA-YWCA’s Cultural Center parking lot Wednesday afternoon from Emerson Process Management, Fareway and Hy-Vee. Participants were treated to free-of-charge T-shirts, water and snacks. Walkers also staged events at Region VI Planning Commission and Woodbury School and other sites.
Locally, walkers in groups ranging from 20 to 50 participants departed from Emerson Process Management, Fareway and Hy-Vee, hiking one kilometer (eight blocks) to the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA Cultural Center were they were treated to water and fruit.
Cheri Kothenbeutel of the Y demonstrated fitness could be fun while leading a group of about 20 in the "Cupid Shuffle" - a dance popular at weddings - in the center's parking lot.
Carol Hibbs, Y CEO and walk coordinator said she was pleased with the turnout of nearly 80, acknowledging that there were more sites for participation than last year.
We definitely wanted to participate," said Fareway manager Harold Youngblood. "It is important to be healthy."
Elsewhere, Chief of Police Mike Tupper was joined by City Administrator Randy Wetmore and other city employees who walked downtown.
"It was a great event and a good day for a walk," Tupper said.
Region VI Planning Commission/People Rides office on East Main Street was one site where eight walked, according to event coordinator LeAnn Lynch of Conrad.
"There were six of us from the office and two from the neighborhood," said Lynch. "We had a lot of fun."
Another east side site was Woodbury School.
While many walked one kilometer at noon, Iowans were encouraged to be active in groups or individually other times of the day. Recommended activities included playing outside with one's children to family's sharing a healthy meal.
The state initiative is a privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their communities throughout the state.
Fareway and Hy-Vee are two corporate sponsors among others.
The state initiative is comparable to "East Smart, Move More and Live Well" - a Marshall County effort started in 2010.
The local consortium promoting health and wellness is made up business, education, government, health, wellness and media representatives which meets on a regular basis.
Hibbs and Kim Schryver of Marshalltown are co-chairs.