Pushin’ for less cushion: Boston falling short of ‘Moves for Health’ fitness goals

Boston Moves for Health was launched with the intention of improving residents' health and wellness. PHOTO CREDIT: NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Boston Moves for Health was launched with the intention of improving residents’ health and wellness. PHOTO CREDIT: NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Boston residents must collectively move 3.9 million miles and lose roughly 919,000 pounds in the next four weeks if they want to meet a health goal set by city officials  nearly one year ago.

On April 24, Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Health Commission launched Boston Moves for Health, a public campaign that challenged residents to lose one million pounds and walk 10 million miles over the course of a year.

But Boston residents have fallen very short of the ambitious goals – according to the campaign, residents have reported a collective weight loss of 81,287 pounds.

Furthermore, they’ve only moved a collective 6,026,914 miles.

“We set some ambitious goals as a way to get Bostonians excited about being healthy,” Menino said when asked for comment about the shortfall. “The real impact of the Boston Moves campaign comes through in the free fitness classes our partners are offering to the community, the affordable weight loss resources for those in need, the activity competitions in schools, and our efforts to make the healthy choice the easy choice. By all those measures, the campaign has been a great success, and we’re not about to let up.”

Since launching last year, Boston Moves has put on a series of free exercise activities, including Fitness on the Plaza and YMCA classes, but now, as Boston closes in on its deadline, it’s time for a final push.

“It is without a doubt possible to see a difference in just one month if you have a consistent routine. People actually see the most results within the first month or so of working out. You can initially lose about five pounds per week (in the first month),” said Stephen Cabral, a personal fitness trainer and owner of Stephen Cabral Studio on Tremont Street.

“March is always a big month for fitness because there is only about 12 weeks until summer. That’s motivation, right there.”

It’s unclear whether the official campaign will be extended beyond April, but according to Boston Moves Program Director José F. Massó, the city has no intention of giving up on its fitness fight.

“Obviously we fell short, especially on our goal of losing 1 million pounds, but (residents) have done a great job so far… We’re proud of the progress, and we’re committed to offering programs to keep our residents moving. We hope to keep moving forward.”

For a leg up, residents can check out these ideas on how to “make Boston your gym.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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