Iowa Walks Towards Healthiest State Goal

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Hundreds of thousands of Iowans walked on Wednesday as part of Governor Terry Branstad's goal of making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016. On Wednesday, the state tried to literally take a step to get closer to that goal, encouraging people to walk a kilometer.

Just steps away from their Port of Dubuque office, employees at Flexsteel spent the lunch hour on the "Mississippi River Walk"

Carl Breen said, "You get away from your desk for 30 minutes for lunch time and you get a chance to clear your head and get out and get a little exercise. "

That's something many of these employees say is hard to find time for on a daily basis.

Flexsteel President Karel Czanderna said, "I think their endorphins change and you get more of the employees and it's just great. "

Unity Point-Finley Hospital's Shelly Malone, likes to walk the walk while she talks the talk. But even for a health expert, Iowa's climate can be crippling.

Malone said, "In the winter it's hard for me to get out and walk or anything like that just because of the weather."

Malone says another thing that could keep Iowa from becoming the healthiest state is that well-known midwestern work ethic. She says many of us spend time working hard at work, and not working on ourselves.

"You need to make time to workout. You need to schedule your activities. If you don't put them on the calendar, you're not going to do it," said Malone.

In the past two years Iowa has jumped from the 16th healthiest state, to 9th in the nation.
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