Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Kenneth Dennis, Tap Architecture

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Kenneth Dennis, Tap Architecture

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Kenneth Dennis found inspiration in his family and career to change his lifestyle. The principal at Tap Architecture said he wanted to ensure he could be around for his children. He also wanted to be a living example for a sustainable community he was trying to build through his design work.

Dennis said he didn't make exercise a priority after he and his wife had children. Busy raising children and working hard, he seemed to make everything but his health a priority, he said. In two decades, he gained about 100 pounds.

Every day, Dennis passed what would become the solution on his way to work. He parked his car in a garage on Fifth Street near Broadway Avenue and walked through the Downtown YMCA's courtyard on his way to the office about two blocks away.

He weighed about 285 pounds in the spring 2014. He wasn't feeling well - lethargic, dizzy spells, headaches.

He looked to the Y as a way to improve his health. Dennis inquired about a corporate membership for Tap, and found enough interested co-workers to meet the Y's 10-person minimum. The architecture firm became a corporate member, and the company pays half of an employee's monthly fees for the fitness center.

It was important for the firm to promote healthy lifestyles, because that is in part what the company promotes: healthy, sustainable, livable communities, Dennis said.

"If I'm going to be selling that service, I need to look the part and live the part," he said.

He began his new journey on April 1, 2014. Dennis started on the elliptical machines to build stamina. He used the fitness and calorie tracker smartphone app Lose It! to account for his workouts and food.

Three months later he began running on the treadmill, using a Couch-to-5K app to guide his training. Though he said he never enjoyed running, he kept training and something clicked finally.

As his strength and stamina improved, Dennis started lifting weights and taking cycling classes. He varies his workout through the weekdays and usually runs downtown for about 6 miles on Saturday.

"I like to run downtown to look at all the buildings. I try to take a different route every time, depending on my mood," he said. …

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