UNMC takes on NE 150 challenge

by Elizabeth Kumru, UNMC public relations | April 05, 2017

Image with caption: Dean of the College of Public Health Ali S. Khan, M.D., M.P.H., demonstrates the strength that will enable him and his team from the college to outpace all UNMC competitors in the NE 150 Challenge.

Dean of the College of Public Health Ali S. Khan, M.D., M.P.H., demonstrates the strength that will enable him and his team from the college to outpace all UNMC competitors in the NE 150 Challenge.

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Jayme Nekuda, Ph.D., associate director of human resources, encourages the UNMC community to get active.
A challenge has been made that UNMC cannot ignore.

It's the NE 150 Challenge.

Nebraska's Sesquicentennial (150 years of statehood) celebration includes a physical challenge -- walk, run, ride, even paddle 150 miles by the end of the year.

Jayme Nekuda, Ph.D., associate director of human resources, said UNMC is up to the task.

"We've walked across Nebraska and even all the way to London for the Olympics," she said. "We can do 150 miles in our sleep."

Nekuda encourages everyone in the UNMC community to sign up on UNMC's team and then form smaller college or department sub-teams under UNMC. "I challenge the UNMC campus to complete 150,000 miles."

Apps to track your progress

The NE 150 Challenge website has a tool that converts a variety of activities, from aerobics and square dancing to yoga, into miles.

There are thousands of apps you can download onto your iPhone to track your miles. Here are some of the more popular.

  • MyFitnessPal
  • MapMyRun
  • FitBit
  • Weight Watchers

"Now that it's spring, it's a beautiful time of year to get out and get some activity in or increase your movement," Dr. Nekuda said. "And, there are many organized, fun events like the Heart Walk on May 13, co-chaired by UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., which will help us reach our goal."

Ali Khan, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health, wants Nebraska to be the healthiest state in the U.S., so challenges the other deans and directors to create their own team. "I highly doubt that any other college can beat the COPH team," he said. "Heck, I've already bought the popcorn and camp chair to wait for the runner ups."

"There are so many benefits to physical activity besides the obvious of losing weight and reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer," Dr. Khan said. "It improves your quality of life, helps you sleep better, reduces stress, and you live longer. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to engage with other family members and friends as you develop better exercise habits together."

Participants from UNMC will receive a free T-shirt when they reach the 75-mile mark and a medal for completing the entire 150 miles.

Sign up for the Heart Walk

Registration for the American Heart Association's 2017 Omaha-Council Bluffs Heart Walk is now open.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., is chair for this year's event. Dr. Gold also served as chair of the 2016 event.

Festivities will begin at 7 a.m., with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. and the walk beginning at 9:30 a.m. The walk will begin at Miller's Landing, 151 Freedom Park Road, Omaha.

For more information and a link to register, click here.

Upcoming events across the state also are listed on the NE 150 Challenge website. Here are a few of them:

  • Capital City Blue Run for Autism, April 1, Lincoln.
  • UNK LPAC Fun 5k, April 1, Kearney.
  • NRD 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, April 1, Lincoln.
  • Tabitha 10K, April 8, Lincoln.
  • UNO Claussen-Leahy Maverick Run, April 22, Omaha.
  • Omaha-Council Bluffs Heart Walk, May 13, Omaha.

"All sorts of activities can be counted," Dr. Nekuda said. "Being 'fit' is not a destination, it is a way of life that increases one's overall quality of life. Let's all get moving and get active."

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