Healthy habits in action

People who adopted new eating habits and increased their exercise so far this year can lace up their shoes and begin to reap the rewards of good health at the inaugural Live Healthy Iowa 5K on April 12.

“This 5K is a great way to cap off the strides made during the Live Healthy10 week wellness challenge,” said Lindsey Kavanaugh, Community Wellness Coordinator for Webster County. “It’s a great event to participate in. You can walk it or run – just move and get on the path to being healthy.”

Live Healthy Iowa is a statewide health initiative that encourages friends, families, co-workers and neighbors to form teams to tackle wellness challenges that promote healthy lifestyle changes, particularly weight loss and increased exercise. The 10-week wellness challenge began in January and concludes April 6. However, the lessons and habits participants learned during the annual campaign can continue indefinitely, Kavanaugh said.

“You’re encouraged to keep track of of your results and find ways to maintain your motivation throughout the 10 weeks and beyond,” she said.

People do not need to be Wellness Challenge participants to run or walk in the 5K. It is open to everyone, Kavanaugh said, especially people who are looking to take their first steps in developing a healthier lifestyle. Physical fitness trainers have said the 3.1 miles of a 5K is a distance that is just long enough to challenge people but not so long as to discourage them. The Live Healthy route will follow the Fort Dodge recreation trail north from the aquatic center toward the Woodlands area and then return to its start point.

“The whole time participants will be on the trail,” Kavanaugh said.

The run starts at 8 a.m., but people can pick up their registration packets between 7 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. Last minute runners can also register at that time. Participants will receive a finisher medal and a t-shirt; however, if people sign up the morning of the event they aren’t guaranteed a T-shirt. Prizes will be awarded for the top times for men and women in each age group. Refreshments will be offered at the finish line, as well.

A special 1K race will be held for children 12 and younger at 9 a.m. Fort Dodge is one of 10 sights in the state that will be sponsoring a 5K. The local race supports the Healthy Webster County Coalition and Adaptive Sports Iowa Veteran Outreach.

Since 2002, Live Healthy Iowa has helped more than 230,000 participants lose 925,639 pounds and log nearly 40 million miles of physical activity during the 10-week Wellness Challenge.