Healthiest State walks take place across Marshalltown

T-R PHOTOS BY ADAM SODDERS - About 800 Miller Middle School students and staff members take a mile-long stroll through the surrounding neighborhoods Wednesday in celebration of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative Annual Walk.

Hundreds got out and enjoyed the Wednesday sunshine while supporting a cause during the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative Annual Walk day.

Among the participants were students at the Marshalltown and East Marshall school districts, Hy-Vee customers and staff, folks from REM Iowa and many others.

“In 2011, Iowa kicked off the Healthiest State Initiative, trying to become the healthiest state in the nation, so that’s what this is all about,” said Miller Middle School eighth-grade physical education teacher Todd Rosenberger. He said the school has been involved since the early years of the initiative.

About 800 Miller students and staff strolled through the neighborhoods along Boone, Nevada and West Main streets Wednesday afternoon.

“They’re all mapped out for a mile,” Rosenberger said of the routes. “It’s basically to raise awareness on an active lifestyle.”

The Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA also participated in the day’s events.

“What we like to promote is that walking is one of the easiest, simplest exercises you can do,” said Marshalltown Y Financial Development Director Kim Jass-Ramirez. “You don’t need a lot of equipment, a lot of people can do it.”

Along with calling for participation from local businesses and organizations, Y staff were also set up a booth for walkers outside the old YMCA-YWCA building. They gave away water bottles and fruit to walkers to met up at the building.

Rosenberger and Jass-Ramirez said the walks are meant to get the word out about the Healthiest State initiative while getting active.

“The other thing that’s great about walking is that it’s social,” Jass-Ramirez said. “I’m sure people are coming who didn’t even know each other before who are going to meet today and spend a little time getting to know each other.”

Rosenberger said the walk is an important reminder to his students to get and stay active.

“I tell my kids at this grade level ‘You need more exercise than a mile-long walk at this age level,'” he said. “We’re teaching the kids about the nutrition aspect as well.”

For more information on the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, visit http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com