Blue Zones Project kicks off in Fairfield

Blue Zone approved foods are labeled at the Fairfield Hyvee.

The Fairfield community kicked off the Blue Zones Project with a day filled with free activities promoting active and healthy lifestyles.

People could participate in a variety of outdoor events around town like volleyball, yoga and bird watching. You could cool off from a walk in the park at the Fairfield Hyvee store, which is the city's first designated blue zones grocery store. When you walk through the store you may notice blue zone signage on various health foods, and even see a blue zone check out line with no sugary impulse items at the register. Blue Zone parking spots are marked and located further away from the doors, encouraging people to walk more.

"We're very happy to be the first designated grocery store in the under 10,000 population Blue Zone area," Fairfield Hyvee Dietition Dee Sandquist said.

Nutrition experts also gave health tips and cooking demonstrations throughout the day.

â??Healthy food is on the up and up,â?? Holistic Nutrition Coach Emily Shaw said. â??I think we have a lot of resources. it's just about getting together and getting support around it too.â??

The Blue Zones project is a collaboration of Wellmark and Healthways in effort to ignite a community-by-community movement to improve the wellbeing of Iowa communities.