The ISU Campus Walk is part of a larger state-wide campaign to promote health across the state of Iowa. Healthiest State Walks will be happening all across Iowa as a hope to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.
“[The ISU Campus Walk] supports the concept of healthy living,” said Greg Welk, director of the kinesiology department. “It shows that you’re committed to living a healthy lifestyle. People all over the state are doing this, not just at ISU."
The ISU Campus Walk will start at noon Wednesday. The walk is 1 kilometer, or 0.62 miles, and should take most people less than a half hour.
“It shouldn’t take any more than 15 minutes at the most, maybe 10. It’s just a little over a half-mile, so it shouldn’t take too long,” said Seth Long, senior in kinesiology and health. “It’s a really healthy way to get out. People don’t really see walking as exercise because it’s usually pretty easy for most people, but it still is a really good way to increase your health, even if it is only for 10 or 15 minutes.”
There are seven routes at Iowa State, including one at the College of Veterinary Medicine building and two at the ISU Research Park.
“[The different routes are set up] to get people on different areas of the campus,” Long said. “I walk pretty much from the same two buildings everyday, and I don’t see the whole campus. It’s nice, especially in the fall when it’s really pretty on campus. Different parts of campus will get people excited about walking.”
The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative is a five-year plan to promote health in Iowa, and make Iowa one of the healthiest states in the nation. Iowa State has created the Healthiest ISU Initiative to help promote these programs.
“Iowa State has formed a campus group called the Healthiest Iowa State Initiative,” Welk said. “We are working in conjunction with the Healthiest Ames Initiative. So for us to make Ames healthy, we’ve got to make Iowa State healthy, because ISU is such a large chunk of the Ames population and the county population.”
Student volunteers will be placed on all routes to help direct and motivate walkers.
“Another key aspect of what we’re trying to do is that most of the walk is planned by student leaders working through the Worksite Health Promotion class, HS 380,” Welk said. “The students in the class are learning how to be worksite health promotion leaders. Each semester, we have students in this class work through a group called Wellness Works to help promote healthy lifestyles. They’re going to be working with and through the Healthiest Iowa State Committee to help promote healthy lifestyles on campus.”
Students in Worksite Health Promotion have been working on creating the routes, putting up promotional materials and creating prizes for students and staff who participate in the ISU Campus Walk.
“[The gift cards] are for places around campus worth $20. … They are from Caribou Coffee, the Memorial Union, all places around campus," said Madison Young, junior in kinesiology and health. "From each station, we choose a staff member and a student that can win a prize. If they walk the entire walk, they drop their raffle ticket off at the very end."
There are four possible gift card prizes, with two students and two staff members being chosen to receive prizes.
Welk and his students are optimistic about the number of students and staff who they hope will come out for the walk.
“We’ve purchased 2,000 stickers, so that’s our goal," Welk said. "If we run out, that’s great."