Join a Walking Moai at the PAC

Oskaloosa Blue Zones 'Live Longer Better'

Oskaloosa Blue Zones ‘Live Longer Better’

MAHASKA COUNTY – Mahaska Health Partnership continues Blue Zones principles in Oskaloosa with addition of Community Wellness Coordinator Ann Smith.

“Our community put a lot of work into becoming Blue Zones certified,” MHP CEO Jay Christensen said. “As the local healthcare resource, we value our community’s health and well-being as much as providing care in times of need. In order to keep the Blue Zones momentum going, we felt it was important to maintain leadership in that area.

“Ann led the Blue Zones worksite certification for Bank Iowa and has a long-standing commitment to personal health,” Christensen explained. “She will be a wonderful wellness advocate and continue building on the Blue Zones principles for currently certified organizations as well as those wishing to join. She will also be coordinating community outreach programs to help further adapt the Blue Zones power nine in various ways.”

In addition to meeting with local grocers and employers about Blue Zones, Smith has begun leading Walking Moai’s on Sunday afternoons.

“Community walking groups are an amazing way to get more exercise and build unique friendships,” Smith stressed. “Blue Zones Moai® (pronounced “Mo Eye”) Walking Groups of up to 10 people meet at least once a week.”

Thanks to the support of the William Penn Activity Center (PAC), walking Moais now have a warm location to downshift. According to Smith, the PAC is open on Sundays at 4 pm through Jan. 17, 2016 to accommodate Walking Moais. This opportunity is free and open to anyone, regardless of PAC or YMCA membership.

The word “moai” comes from Okinawa, Japan and means “meeting for a common purpose.” In Okinawa, neighbors use moais as support systems to help those in need. Based on this tradition, Moai Walking Groups provide social interaction and support that are just as important to a person’s overall well-being as the benefits of walking.

“The small size of the groups allows the members to focus on building strong friendships,” Smith said. “And those social connections are as vital to well-being as the exercise! We encourage anyone interested to join us next Sunday, Nov. 22 at 4 pm.”

If you are interested in joining a Walking Moai or would like to form your own group, please email Smith at

Posted by on Dec 4 2015. Filed under Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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