Healthy lives, healthy hearts

For many of us, our health is something we tend to take for granted, until some kind of catastrophic event throws our mortality directly into our faces.

It is in these situations, when life, God, the universe, the powers that be, or whatever higher power we believe in, gives us the wake-up call we may need to make important life changes.

Unfortunately, however, not everyone survives a major health crisis long enough to take the message to heart.

But in today’s Post-Record, in recognition of the American Heart Association’s Women’s Heart Health Month, are the stories of two local women who underwent major heart surgeries and lived to tell about it. Not only did they survive, but they’ve transformed themselves and are living healthier lifestyles. From quitting smoking to exercising, eating right and visiting their doctors regularly, they are shining examples of what it means to live healthy lives to the fullest.

From these women, all of us — no matter what our age or gender — can learn something about the importance of taking care of our bodies, and the potential ramifications if we don’t.

From the obesity epidemic to heart disease, there is no shortage of health issues facing Americans. In truth, it’s time for all of us to learn from others, hear that wake-up call and start taking health maintenance seriously. It can truly be a life and death situation.

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