It all starts with a goal—getting fit, eating right and losing weight takes time and dedication. And it’s one goal that Central College and the state of Iowa are not willing to ignore.
In October, more than 200 students, faculty, staff and community members joined thousands of other Iowans in a one-kilometer walk and run as a part of the government’s Healthiest State Initiative. A kilometer is about 7.5 city blocks, a 12-minute stroll for the average walker. Those 12 minutes can be the difference between a healthy lifestyle and a stagnant one says organizer and instructor of exercise science Katelin Gannon.
“The walk was a good opportunity to start getting healthy,” Gannon says. “It is the simple things that can improve health risks, and walking just one kilometer per day can significantly improve a person’s health.”
Gannon’s Health Promotions classes facilitated the event as a part of the Healthiest State Initiative —everything from organizing, promoting and recruiting were done by the students. Although just one walk will not change a person’s health overnight, senior Anna Sarcone, an exercise science major, maintains that it can be the catalyst for a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s really great to get the whole community involved,” she says. “We learn in class that just a little bit of moderate exercise can get rid of so many health issues. This is a good foundation for those looking to lead a healthier life.”
In 2010, Iowa ranked No. 19 compared to all other states in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announced a plan in 2011 to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation within five years. That year, Iowa ranked No. 16, and within the last year, the state jumped seven spots and is sitting at No. 9.
Central is committed to staying fit on campus—the Ron Schipper Fitness Center is the hub for campus fitness with a 7,200 square foot strength and conditioning area. It also includes as multipurpose room for aerobics, yoga and dance classes. And new in the 2014-15 school year, a wellness center will open in the basement of the Maytag Student Center. With 19 varsity sports and countless intramurals teams to join, Central students are helping Iowa become the healthiest in the nation.
“It starts with exercise,” comments senior Jacob Anderson, an exercise science major. “The students at Central are getting involved. There are so many benefits to working out a few times a week for just 10 or 15 minutes. There’s no better time to get involved and be fit.”