Exercise is Medicine: More Pushups, Less Pasta

BrandonAfterWeightLossPantsWHEREAS Dr. Irene Kovala, president of GCC, has proclaimed that May is Exercise is Medicine® month, it’s an ideal time to share the story of one GCC student who made exercise his medicine for the past year. And with good results:  between May 2012 and January 2013, Brandon Bratset reduced his weight from 262 pounds to 188, and trimmed his waist from 44 inches to 36.

Bratset achieved this success by exercising at GCC North Fitness Center for 60-90 minutes for five or six days a week. His workout routines included cardiovascular exercise nearly every day and strength training a couple of times a week.

He also adjusted his food intake by eating less sugary foods and drinking more water.

Bratset started his personal fitness quest last May, when he graduated from high school. “I wanted to feel better, to make a big change in my life, and to achieve a big personal goal,” he said.

Bratset took a methodical approach on his quest for better health. He:

  • traced calories consumed with the help of a smart-phone app (“Fitness Pal”);
  • substituted sugar-free options where possible (for instance, sugar-free, rather than regular popsicles, and a non-sugar sweetener in beverages);
  • chose whole-wheat pasta instead of white-flour pasta;
  • incorporated regular exercise into his schedule on most days; and
  • tried to burn off what he would eat throughout the day.

With a family that’s into food and a hobby of baking desserts that started in middle school, Bratset likes to create pumpkin pie, cheesecake, peanut-butter balls and all manner of treats. With his new focus on fitness, he expanded his interest in the culinary arts by learning to make his treats more healthful. For instance, he might substitute applesauce for oil in a recipe.

Dr. Kovala’s Exercise is Medicine® proclamation stated that a healthier populace means cost savings, greater participation in the workforce and other benefits to society at large. Bratset understands those benefits:  He’s feeling better, he’s looking better, and he’s moving better. When he takes to the bowling alley (another hobby), watch out!

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