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      Ottumwa participates in Iowa's second Healthiest State Walk

      Around 40 to 50 people walked at the Greater Ottumwa Park location of the Healthiest State Walk.

      You could not have asked for a more beautiful fall day for the second annual Healthiest State Walk going on across Iowa Wednesday.

      In Ottumwa, there were several locations that students and adults could come out and participate and make the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

      Several area organizations, such as John Deere, the Salvation Army and the United Way of Wapello County, hosted walks.

      "United Way feels like it's important because one of our goals is to improve health in our community and the walk is the first step in a way people can get started on that goal," said Ali Wilson, Volunteer Center Coordinator for the United Way of Wapello County.

      Last year, around 600 to 800 people participated in the Healthiest State Walk and organizers are excited to see what that number is this year.

      "Here [at Greater Ottumwa Park], we did have somewhere between 40 and 50 walkers that took their first steps towards a better health today and we were happy with that," said Tom Sisler, Executive Director of the Ottumwa YMCA. "We had a fun walk, it was fun to see the smiles on their faces and we walked close to a mile today, which was great. Come people said, 'I never would have thought I could have done that today', but doing it with people, doing it with others really makes it fun and it's a great way to do it."

      Sisler said he is looking forward to the Healthiest State Walk becoming an annual event and growing each year.