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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Leads Walk to Encourage Wellness

Media Contacts:  

Luke Robson, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1967

Dave Mlnarik, Nebraska Sports Council, 402-471-2544





Governor Ricketts leads the Governor’s Walk with Dr. Tom Williams of DHHS and Dave Mlnarik of the Nebraska Sports Council


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts held a brief news conference and led a 20-minute walk through the halls of the Nebraska State Capitol Monday to encourage Nebraskans to exercise regularly and keep using the NE150 Challenge for motivation.


“Wellness is a key to living the Good Life,” said Governor Ricketts.  “I encourage all Nebraskans to pursue active lifestyles and healthy living for themselves and their families.”


Prior to walking the second-floor halls, the Governor held a brief news conference to encourage Nebraskans to exercise regularly, eat healthy and use available programs and events to stay on track.  State of Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Williams also shared remarks on the disease-prevention benefits of a healthy lifestyle.


Nebraska Sports Council executive director Dave Mlnarik was also on hand.  He reported that the NE150 Challenge, which is one of 13 official initiatives of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, has attracted more than 5,000 Nebraskans and would continue under the same name for the foreseeable future. 


The NE150 Challenge is a year-long web-based wellness program that allows Nebraskans to track physical activity miles and minutes.  As they meet certain benchmarks, they earn virtual badges.  The program also helps users find local events as well as trails and parks where they can walk, run, bike or paddle.


“Research has shown that logging begets more exercise,” said Mlnarik.  “The NE150 Challenge’s added benefits of corporate competition, active-event promotion, social networking and the first family’s leadership have made this program a wellness home run.”


Mlnarik congratulated companies that competed for corporate awards in 2017 with UNMC achieving top mileage honors with more than 215,000 miles logged by 462 participating employees.  He said Commercial Investment Properties had the highest average miles with 43 employees achieving more than 34,000 miles.


The NE150 Challenge is free for individuals and families.  For $500, Companies can join the corporate competition program, which provides promotional materials, internal award incentives and awards.


The Nebraska Sports Council, which also conducts the annual Cornhusker State Games, hosts the Governor’s Walk and the NE150 Challenge as part of its mission to promote healthy and active lifestyle choices.  Learn more at