Cardiovascular disease (CVD) – including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure – is the number 1 killer of women and men in the US. It is the leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. American Heart Month is a campaign designed to bring awareness to diseases of the heart. Just like the New Year inspires many of us to reflect upon and commit to self-improvement behaviors, February is a perfect time to learn about CVD and how one can live a heart-healthy lifestyle.
For those who don’t know me very well, I celebrate the heart every month! My lifestyle centers on making decisions that improve my mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. Healthy living is my norm; not the exception. I am passionate about eating clean, working out, and balancing my personal & professional life. One look and you will see that I am far from perfect; filled with imperfections. I am not thin or muscular. However, I am heart-healthy and fit for a woman my age. This is a deeply rooted lifestyle that reaches deep into the core of who I am. It became my never-ending journey that started over 20 years ago first due to my diagnosis of high cholesterol and mitral-valve prolapse and years later due to the sudden death of my mom by cardiac arrest. I was 23 when diagnosed. My mom was 59 when she died.
I know many of you have been touched with similar tragedy. My story is not unique however I feel what I have done with my life is unique. If more Americans learned from the unnecessary loss of life due to heart disease, we would stop dying at the current rate of one death every 40 seconds. What I have learned through years of self-education and experience is that death due to non-congenital heart disease is preventable. Most risk factors are controllable so it is never too late to start the healing process.
My hope is that you use February to learn about your heart and make changes so you can join me in living a heart-healthy lifestyle every day! Talk to your medical professional, make an appointment for a physical, and get tested. Start a new exercise regime that is fun and exhilarating! Try cycling the coast, hiking the canyons, or walking the wetlands. Ignite the foodie in you and go vegan for a day! Go online or snuggle up with a book and read about the fascinating human heart! See me for more suggestions as my list is endless!
Twining family, I encourage and challenge you to show yourself the love by taking FOUR (one for each chamber of your heart) NEW heart-healthy actions during the month of February.
From my heart to yours,
Melissa Simon is a certified administrative professional, notary public, and serves as assistant to Twining’s President Rob Ryan. Since joining Twining in 2007, Melissa’s role revolves around assisting Rob with a variety of project and personnel management functions allowing Rob to efficiently utilize his time and expertise leading the company. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from CSULB in Business Administration: Human Resources Management. Melissa spends her free time at home with her husband, two teen boys, and two young adult step-daughters. Melissa is a dietary vegan and participates in a variety of activities such as P90x3, yoga, cycling, and running. The most serene, peaceful place for her to be is at the family home in Indio as this is where she feels closest to her mom.
 “Heart Diseases.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/heartdiseases.html
 “Heart Disease Facts.” Your Heart Health. Boston Scientific. n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. http://www.your-heart-health.com/en-US/heart-disease-facts.html