Meet a Health Hero: Candace Gantt

Candace Gantt

Candace Gantt

» You can vote for Candace here September 15th through 21st. Mark your calendar! 

Name: Candace Gantt

Role: Chair of Mind Your Brain conference, a conference for brain injury survivors at Penn Medicine.

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Motivation for me comes from many sources. I believe health is in two forms and they are equally important: physical and mental fitness. I am motivated by my fellow traumatic brain injury and concussion survivors that need a role model to give them hope that they can resume a normal and physically healthy life. I am motivated by the 92-year-old woman who finished this years San Diego marathon. I am motivated by the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing. I am motivated when I see young kids from The Students Run Philly style program competing and getting college scholarships. 

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
My health turning point came after I recovered from my traumatic brain injury, the three brain surgeries and coma after I was hit by a truck while cycling in 2005. I was focused like a laser beam to return to my physical and mental health. I began training for a half Ironman, the Boston Marathon and a full Ironman, one baby step at a time.

What ‘policy” would you institute to make greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
My policy would be for everyone to join in! Join a running group, the YMCA, biking club, your neighbor that walks every morning before work, join your children on a bike ride or sign up for a charity event that is near and dear to your heart. Joining others will keep you moving, motivated and may even improve your memory (the mental factor).

What is the most important part of your health or fitness regimen?
I joined a group and put my workouts on my calendar. This is not a big, new idea, but worth saying over and over again. It works!!!!!

What is your number one piece of health related advice?
Stay away from éclairs (is my first thought). But actually my advice is to take the first step! Be bold! Dream big! Come out and exercise with me.

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