Can Sioux City get the "blues"? - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Can Sioux City get the "blues"?


Iowa Governor Terry Branstad wants the state to be the healthiest in the nation. He's started the Healthiest State Initiative, aimed at moving Iowa from it's place at 19th to number one by 2016.

To make that goal a reality, 4,100 in Sioux City got off on the right foot at noon Friday. They're walking alongside an estimated 290,000 other Iowans around the state in an effort to break the Guinness World Record of the number of people simultaneously walking.

Canada currently holds the record at more than 230,000.

But, the walk is just one small step in the governor's big plans for a healthier Iowa. Governor Branstad also wants to make 10 of Iowa's communities "Blue Zones". They're towns committed to creating a healthy lifestyle for their people, who will, in turn live longer, happier lives.

The "Blue Zone" program was created by author, Dan Buettner, and made possible by a collaboration between Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Healthways.

"Obviously, we are supportive of anything that can make Iowa a healthier state," said Sioux City Mayor Pro Tem Tom Padgett.

Because of that support, Derek Carmona with Sioux City's Environmental Services, is charged with getting the town to go blue.

He says being selected would mean Wellmark would dispatch an expert to the community and over the next five years, would advise city officials, businesses, and residents on how to create a healthier environment.

"Some of the changes that we would look at are infrastructure, do people have the ability to get out and walk vs drive their car, biking paths, green spaces, that sort of thing," said Carmona.

The advice to the city would be based off the program's "Power 9", core principals that claim to lengthen a person's life. They're broken into four categories focusing on; being active, eating healthy, having less stress, and connecting with others.

"We are willing to do this. It's entirely grassroots so it's going to require the efforts of the people of Sioux City," said Carmona.

Sioux City has already sent a "statement of interest" for the program. They'll know if they can continue on to he next round of the selection process after the 28th of October.

Until then folks like Carmona are wondering, "Does Sioux City have what it takes to get the blues?"

Many communities in northwest Iowa have also signed up to become a "Blue Zone". You can vote for community by voting online. Officials say part of the selection process takes community votes into account.

Here's the link if you'd like to vote:

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