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Governor’s Walk Encourages Healthy Living

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Governor Pete Ricketts, First Lady Susanne Shore and other wellness leaders met at the Capitol today to talk and walk. The “talk” encouraged Nebraskans to make healthy-living a priority in 2022.  The 20-minute “walk” provided an example of a simple way to fit physical activity into a busy daily routine.

“Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the ways that everybody in Nebraska can enjoy the good life,” Ricketts said, adding that his daily routine includes working out on his stationary bike, on which he logged more than 17,000 minutes and 5,000 miles in 2021.

Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer/Director of Public Health Dr. Gary Anthone reported that according to the latest data, Nebraska ranks in the top 15 for highest obesity-percentage among adults, and more than one third of Nebraska adults are overweight.  He also noted that more than 25% of Nebraska adults reported no physical activity in the last year other than their daily job activities. 

Anthone also shared that a person’s physical condition is a prime factor in the severity of symptoms for those who contract COVID-19.

“Obesity increases your risk of getting severe illness from COVID.  It triples a person’s risk of being hospitalized,” Anthone said, adding a reminder that physical activity is a great stress reliever.    

Nebraska Sports Council Executive Director Dave Mlnarik encouraged Nebraskans to sign up and participate in the WellPower Movement, a free web-based activity-tracking program.  He said the program keeps people motivated with virtual badges and actual prizes for physical-activity miles logged.

First Lady Susanne Shore credited the WellPower Movement with helping her become more diligent about daily exercise back in 2017, when the program was a pillar of Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial celebration.  She reported that she lost 15 lbs that year and has kept the weight off.

“I really encourage people to sign up for (the WellPower Movement). It’s so simple, and it really is motivating and fun,” Shore said.

The Nebraska Sports Council, which coordinates the Governor’s Walk, is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization with a mission of providing quality sports competition and promoting healthy-lifestyle choices.  Platinum Partners include the Nebraska Medical Association, Farmers Mutual of Nebraska, Nebraska Orthopaedic Center and Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln.  Learn more about the WellPower Movement and the Nebraska Sports Council at


(NOTE: View the pre-walk news conference (length: 10 minutes) HERE.  Check out photos from the event HERE.

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