Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

HHCC planning educational, active fall activities

Events align with the Live Healthy Iowa’s Active Index Ranking
By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News | Sep 06, 2018

School is in session and the Healthy Henry County Communities board is gearing up educate county residents on what it means to have a healthy lifestyle.

HHCC reflected on their success speaking with vendors during the Old Threshers Reunion last week and looked forward to the Next Step Challenge, Healthiest State Walk and Fall Fitness Day in September and the Healthy Halloween Walk in October.

HHCC Director Kelly Carr and board members walked around the Old Threshers grounds for three hours last week, speaking with vendors and making sure their “Healthy Choice” decals were still on their signs.

“Vendors who know us when they see us are excited, telling us the different things they have,” Carr said. “Or trying to get us to label gravy as healthy,” she joked, adding that she thought it was really worthwhile to thank the vendors for having healthy options.

“My conclusion is that if we didn’t do it, it would cause more harm,” added Elise Klopfenstein, Henry County Health Center dietitian and HHCC board member. In the future, Klopfenstein said she would like the HHCC board to have a frank discussion with the Old Threshers board about promoting healthy food options, saying she is seeing a lot more “fair-style” food on the grounds than in the past few years.

The board also toyed with the idea of promoting healthy eating on the Old Threshers campground, possibly holding food safety workshops or passing out recipes of the day to promote healthy cooking.

Next up is the Next Step Challenge competition from Sept. 10 to Oct. 19. The Next Step Challenge is being promoted by HHCC and counts toward the county’s Active Index Ranking. Henry County currently ranks 10th according to the state’s Live Healthy Iowa 2017 Active Index.

The Next Step Challenge requires participants to track their steps for the next few weeks in teams of two to 10 with a Live Healthy Iowa pedometer. Registration is $10 a person. Participants receive a personal online dashboard with the ability to sync apps and devices to track daily steps, weekly motivational messages, unlimited access to online tools and resources and opportunities to win team incentives and individual prizes.

To register, visit livehealthyiowa.org/step-challenge and register using “LHI Henry” for Henry County residence.

HHCC will be promoting more walking during the Healthiest State Walk and Fall Fitness Day on Oct. 3. The board is considering coordinating a community walk in Central Park. Last year, schools in the county participated by taking their classes outside for a short walk around the block during the day.

Klopfenstein said that the point of the Healthiest State Walk is to remind residents that even 10 minutes of physical activity over a short break at work is a healthy option. “You don’t have to work up a sweat,” she said.

Finally, the board discussed the Healthy Halloween Walk on Oct. 21 at East Lake Park. Last year, the event included stations from a car seat check to face painting, a bouncy house, disc golf and guests from the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services (ADDS), I-Smile, the Substance Abuse Coalition, Family Connection, Public Health and the Boy Scouts.

In other news, the fiscal agent for the $1 million HRSA grant to HHCC was successfully transferred from the hospital to the county. The transferring of the fiscal agent was necessary with the transition of Public Health and HHCC from hospital-based to county departments.

The next HHCC meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 2.

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