Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2012 - Volume 6 - Issue 4 > Inspiring Women to Get Healthy at Any Age
Text sizing:
HEART Insight:
doi: 10.1097/01.HEARTI.0000422218.57934.e3
Departments: On My Mind

Inspiring Women to Get Healthy at Any Age

Section Editor(s): Grady, Kathleen L. Ph.D., A.P.N., F.A.H.A., F.A.A.N.; Editorial Board Chair, HEART INSIGHT

Free Access

Actress Valerie Bertinelli has practically grown up before our eyes, from her debut at age 15 playing teenager Barbara Cooper on the TV sitcom One Day at a Time to today, starring as a mother of two college-age kids in the hit comedy Hot in Cleveland. But when Valerie found herself gaining weight and feeling out of shape as she entered her forties, she decided she had to do something.

Figure. No caption a...
Image Tools

In our cover story on page 4, Valerie talks about her struggles with her weight and how she finally took control through healthy eating and exercise. With the help of Jenny Craig, Valerie lost an amazing 50 pounds and inspired her mother, Nancy, to do the same. Soon after her weight loss, Nancy was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, which is an abnormal narrowing of the heart's aortic valve. Getting healthy helped her bounce back quickly from surgery.

Valerie and her mother are inspirations to many women over 50 (can you believe Valerie is 52?) who may think they're “too old” to change their lives for the better. As they've proven, you're never too old to get healthy!

Deciding that a loved one needs more help than you can provide is a hard decision. But we're here to help with “Moving Out,” (page 8), which looks at what to do when a family member needs specialized care. Nursing homes aren't the only solution, and we provide information on other options that are available along with suggestions for affording the right care.

Researchers have found that cultural barriers, social factors and lack of access to healthcare can contribute to an increased risk for cardiovascular problems. “Does Race and Ethnicity Play a Role in Heart Disease?” (page 12) takes a look at these findings and offers suggestions for increasing your knowledge about stroke and heart attack, as well as working with your doctor to get the best care possible.

“Life's Simple 7” (page 16) provides information on modest lifestyle and behavioral changes that can lead you to a lifetime of good health. In this issue, you'll find information on chocolate (is it really good for you?); what prediabetes is and how to know if you're at risk; finding affordable, healthy food at warehouse chain stores; why smoking makes high cholesterol more dangerous; and whether physical activity makes you hungrier or curbs your appetite.

Don't forget to visit us at, where you can read our online-only articles: “Get Heart Healthy with Celebrity Trainer Christopher Ross Lane,” where Valerie Bertinelli's trainer provides tips for getting fit and staying healthy, and “Make the Most of Your Next Doctor's Visit.”

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions—e-mail us at or write to HEART INSIGHT, 323 Norristown Road, Suite 200, Ambler, PA 19002. You can also follow us on Twitter:



Editorial Board Chair, HEART INSIGHT

© 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.