LANSING – State Sen. John Proos was named “Healthiest Legislator” on Wednesday by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which sponsored the six-week-long “State Government Challenge.” Proos walked and ran about 120 miles this summer to win the healthy living competition.
“Regular exercise is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy and keep balanced,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I encourage Southwest Michigan residents to join me in including regular exercise to your daily routine. It is a great way to stay healthy and give you the energy to meet any challenge.”
This is the fifth straight year Proos has won the lawmaker challenge.
“While part of the reason I compete for this honor each year is to set a positive example to young people throughout Southwest Michigan, the most important reason was to win funds to help fight the rising obesity levels in our state,” Proos said. “As a father and public servant, I know the positive role that parents can play in starting children on a lifetime of healthy habits.”
Proos is donating the $2,500 prize money to the “We Can! Healthy Berrien” fund led by the Lakeland Hospital system, where it will be used to educate the community about the benefits of proper nutrition and fitness.
Proos, who normally runs 15 miles a week, increased his activity to win the contest – wearing a pedometer to measure his steps, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and even running a marathon.
“It is alarming that more than 12 percent of Michigan children are obese and two-thirds of adults in our state are considered overweight or obese,” Proos said. “I believe that educating both parents and children on the importance of physical activity at all ages will prove extremely beneficial for the health of our Southwest Michigan community and the entire state.”
Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph of Proos and Mark Cook of Blue Cross Blue Shield presenting a check to “We Can! Healthy Berrien” fund representatives Barb DeLong and Dave Burghart at the Michigan Capitol is available on the senator’s photowire at: http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=21.