Committed to Results
Paul Bonito is committed to change and committed to his own health because his father died of a heart attack at 42 and two sisters died of cancer.
“Everyone in my family has passed away, I only have one sister left,” he said
At the age of 50, Paul realized he needed to do something to give himself the best chance to live a long healthy life. He worked very hard to educate himself and started by significantly changing his eating habits, losing over 100 pounds.
Then he went on a bike ride to start the second phase of his lifestyle change.
Unfortunately, his body wasn’t ready, and within a week Paul had 6 stents inserted into his heart. Three of his articles were over 90% blocked.
“It was kind of a relief when I found this out.”
His cardiologist referred him to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at the Wellness Institute, and he has never looked back. He took the first available spot and came to the Wellness three times a week for classes and guided exercise to get well.
Paul knows that the exercise did not cause the blockage or heart attack and that he needs a regular exercise program in addition to a healthy diet to stay well.
“This is a really good program. You need to listen to it and follow it, and realize it’s not the end of the world if you can’t eat two pounds of french fries anymore.”
He now believes that an exercise program, along with a healthy diet are key components of a healthy lifestyle. The exercise program, consisting of cardio and weights, also helped him to lose an additional 20 pounds.
Paul describes the staff support as amazing and says the exercise professionals in the program gave him a lot of help and even called him to answer questions and provide support.
When he first started he couldn’t stay on the treadmill for more than 5 minutes, but now he goes for 30 minutes, rides a stationary bike for 25 minutes and then does another 40 minutes of weights three times a week.
The Cardiac Rehab team is thrilled with his results. Paul’s resting heart rate is now between 55-60 bpm, a sign of more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness.
He joined the Wellness immediately after graduating from Cardiac Rehab program, even though he doesn’t live in the area. He appreciates the “extras” in a facility that is connected to and integrated with a hospital: There is a team of professionals that can answer all of his questions and the other day when he was not feeling well, they took his blood pressure to make sure everything was okay. The security of knowing he is surrounded by a team of professional is worth the drive in his view.
Before his bike ride, he did not even know the Wellness existed; now he is here to stay, and his wife joins him every Saturday.
Now Paul is trying to convince his friends and family members to come with him. “If you don’t have your health you are not going anywhere – it’s all about your health,” he tells them.
At 53 he looks better than ever, his high school clothes are big on him, and when he returned to work people were amazed at how great he looks.
“I meet people at the Wellness from high school, and they do not recognize me. ‘wow, you look a lot different. You look great; you look younger!’”
“It feels really good.”
The Cardiac Rehabilitation program can help people of all ages and with many forms of heart disease. If you’ve had a heart attack or heart surgery, or if you have another heart condition, ask your doctor about joining this education and supervised exercise program supported by a team of medical professionals.