MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though a wet spring led organizers of the Muscatine Diabetes Project’s Healthier You Walk to postpone it, they knew from the start they would bring it back later this year. With beautiful fall weather arriving and temperatures still warm enough for outdoor activities, they look forward to uniting walkers from throughout Muscatine County for an afternoon of outdoor exercise and diabetes education Oct. 16. at 2 p.m.
Though the Healthier You Walk has traditionally taken place in the spring, Muscatine Diabetes Project Co-Founder and President Kim Seligman felt October offered a strong alternative this year, as it has the designation of Iowa’s Healthiest State Month. “We are excited to share that since 2016, our annual walk event has been endorsed by the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative,” Seligman shared. “In hosting our annual Walk in October, it gives us the wonderful opportunity to transition into November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month.”
The afternoon of the walk, attendees will have many opportunities to have a good time and learn more about diabetes prevention and care. Emcee Tony Loconsole “Tone” and DJ John Glynn of Glynn Grooves will perform throughout the walk, setting a fun tone. Kids can enjoy bounce houses and other inflatables, lawn games, and several visiting mascots. Several local businesses and organizations will also have booths at the walk, providing information about health and wellness, especially as it pertains to diabetes prevention and diabetes and prediabetes management.
For the day’s main event, all walkers will make a mile and a half loop through Discovery Park, enjoying the health benefits of walking outside as well as the social benefits of spending time with family and friends: “The park always offers a relaxing view and amazing sounds of nature for all to enjoy as you walk the 1.5 mile walk route. This year, we get to view the beautiful fall colors along with the crunch of leaves under our feet,” Seligman said.
An event open to all, people may come and register the day of the event. Adult registrations cost $10 a piece. Children age 17 and under may donate one non-perishable, diabetes-friendly food item, such as small containers of peanut butter, low-sodium soup, low-sodium canned vegetables, canned fruits in light syrup, and unsweetened applesauce. A portion of the money raised will go to providing free A1C tests for adults in Muscatine County, which provide a simple way to help people determine if they have diabetes or prediabetes. The food collected from youth donations will go to the Muscatine Center for Social Action’s food pantry, which serves many seniors with diabetes or prediabetes, including through their food delivery program.
A perfect weekend activity for walkers of all ages and abilities, Seligman would love to have many in Muscatine County come out, get active, and support the work of the Muscatine Diabetes Project. “Our focus is to encourage people to become a healthier version of themselves,” she emphasized. “These past two years have been especially hard on people’s personal health and well-being. Regular walking is key for improving and maintaining our physical and mental health.”