When I was a little girl, I dreaded recess at school. Most of the kids would run to the playground and immediately start a game of kick-ball or soccer. But I preferred to look for four-leaf clovers and show off my new pink skirt. 

My only physical activity consisted of weekly ballet classes and lifting the occasional box of Barbie accessories. In a nutshell, fitness was not in my future.

Then, I gained a lot of weight in college. I enjoyed too much junk food and too much beer, and suddenly I realized that I needed to burn some calories and boost my metabolism.

More than anything, I wanted to be healthy. But how? Flash forward ten years, and countless gym memberships, and the truth is I still struggle with this very question. I’ve tried everything. I’ve kick boxed, run miles and miles, practiced yoga, shown a severe lack of coordination in step class, and even braved the world of weight training. I wish I could say that today, I am a sporty, toned babe. I’m not. But I have grown to realize that it’s really important to stay active anyway. It’s not always fun, but it’s important. I think the key for me has been accepting where I am coming from. I am girly. I like wearing cute gym clothes, and I like aerobics classes that blare pop music. I adore yoga, because it lets me focus on flexibility and meditation. I like weight training at Healthworks because I am not intimidated by men who are much stronger than me, (and who keep checking me out.) And finally, I love taking long walks and going hiking. Finding activities that fit your personality is critical. And even though it can be a struggle to get motivated sometimes, choosing the right exercise will increase your chances a thousand-fold.

Nina Braten

My personal blog: naturallynina.com

My Boston Examiner blog: http://www.examiner.com/x-7305-Boston-Friendship-Examiner