Meet a Health Hero: Pia Martin

Pia Martin

Pia Martin

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Name: Pia Martin

Occupation: Health and physical education teacher at Science Leadership Academy

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
In general, humanity and sanity; I never want to disappoint my students. I want them to fully embrace the wonders of a healthy life and its possibilities. Also, people who I have the privilege of watching overcome/champion/challenge a health-related issues are my greatest motivators. If they can, I can and should, no excuses.

Describe a health related turning point in your life?
When my mother died of breast cancer I learned that you must always think long-term about your health and be proactive. When my brother committed suicide, I learned to respect and honor the resilience and strength it takes to get up and stay on the planet for another day. A former student living with HIV and a friend living with stage 4 breast cancer are leaders by examples, reminding me that every day can be a turning point and a blessing.

What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
I would make four years of high school health and fitness mandatory. It would be four years of giving the students the skills that they need in order to not only meet life’s daily demands physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually, but to thrive in the five dimensions of health.

What’s the most important part of your health or fitness regimen?
The most important part of my fitness routine is making sure that I make time to get a workout in. There are so many day-to-day demands that it’s often easy to say, “I’ll work out later … or tomorrow … or next week.” That, and quality mental healthcare keep me going.

What is your number one piece of health-related advice?
My advice and encouragement is always specific to the needs of the individual or group, but I do like to remind people that health and fitness isn’t an all-or-nothing prospect. Small steps reap huge rewards. Make it fun and enjoy the journey.

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