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Katia small Written by Katia Powell, a Doctoral student in Public Policy and an intern at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

 We’ve all heard that physical activity is “good” for us and has lots of health benefits. If everyone knows all that, why aren’t more of us physically active? I’ve heard (and given) a lot of excuses: we don’t’ have enough time; don’t feel like it; are too stressed; or think it’s boring. In the same breath we say we want to be healthy, lose weight, tone-up, or as some have put it, “look like a Kardashian.”

The simple fact is that we have to move to lose. Getting in shape doesn’t happen overnight – it takes hard work, patience and dedication. I’m speaking from experience – I used to be the queen of excuses. I used them all, sometimes using more than one at a time. When I first began my weight loss journey I tried to fight back the excuses by putting on my headphones and starting with cardio exercises. As my weight started to drop off, so did the reasons I used to avoid working out. The more active I became, the more open I was to trying new things, such as kickboxing classes and weight training so I could build muscle while shedding pounds.

To keep in shape, I attend a bootcamp 3-4 times a week. While bootcamp is not for everyone, attending some type of group-based physical activity can keep you motivated and give you support from others who share the same goals.

People that know me understand how dedicated I am to improving my health and the health of others. It’s not easy, and there are days I would rather just stay in bed or visit my two favorite men, Ben & Jerry. I have to constantly remind myself that we’re only given one body – if we treat it right, our body will return the favor by keeping us healthy. Whether it’s bootcamp, Zumba, stairclimbing, weight lifting or walking, it’s important for us all to be “good” to ourselves and our health – our bodies deserve it! What do you do to keep your body happy?



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