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Gov. Pillen Leads Wellness Walk Through Capitol


Laura Strimple, (402) 580-9495

Jacy Schafer, (531) 510-8529


Gov. Pillen Leads Wellness Walk Through Capitol


LINCOLN, NE – Today, Governor Jim Pillen strapped on his sneakers and led a crowd of walkers through the State Capitol, as part of the annual Governor’s Wellness Walk. Participants included state senators and Nebraska Football Coach Matt Rhule. The event is organized by the Nebraska Sports Council, as part of the kickoff to its WellPower Movement – a free, online activity-tracking program.


Gov. Pillen, who makes a habit of exercising regularly, talked about the importance of physical activity.


Healthy habits lead to a healthy life, I am encouraging all Nebraskans to get more active in 2024,” said Governor Jim Pillen. “I hope this event encourages all of us to spend at least 30 minutes a day engaging in physical exercise, which will improve our overall health.”


Charity Menefee, director of public health for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) acknowledged that time constraints and intimidation are often reasons why people don’t exercise regularly, but they should not be deterrents. Ultimately, the benefits of developing healthy habits far outweigh any initial concerns. The most important thing is to jump in and start.  


“Getting two hours and 30 minutes of physical activity per week is a healthy goal,” said Menefee. “Personally, for me as a mom who works full time out of the home and has busy kids with after school activities, I must set time aside to exercise in the early morning if I’m going to be successful. One piece of advice I can share from my own journey is take little steps to form habits that we can build upon and celebrate our little successes.”


Husker head football coach Matt Rhule suggested exercise need not be complicated or too intense.


“I notice that after going for a walk, how much better I feel,” said Rhule. “This will be my first walk of the new year, and I’m very excited. Exercise helps me be a better husband, a father and coach, I have a lot to look forward to in my life and I want to be around a long time to appreciate all of it.”


“We are proud to partner with Governor Pillen in today’s walk to encourage Nebraskans to make physical activity part of their daily routine, utilize our events, and free programs like the WellPower Movement, to stay motivated throughout the year,” said Dave Mlnarik, president of the Nebraska Sports Council (NSC).


The Council is a Nebraska-based 501(c)(3) organization which also organizes the annual Cornhusker State Games, celebrating it’s 40th anniversary in 2024. As part of the WellPower Movement, participants can earn virtual badges and prizes. It officially starts on Jan. 15. Anyone who is interested can find more information online:

L to R: Gov. Jim Pillen, Charity Menefee, Coach Matt Rhule, and Dave Mlnarik

L to R: Gov. Jim Pillen, Charity Menefee, Coach Matt Rhule, and Dave Mlnarik

Wellness Walkers Group Shot

Wellness Walker Group Led by Gov. Jim Pillen and Coach Matt Rhule