Ten years ago I really couldn’t tell you much about heart health. I thought you were born with a heart that performed for the duration of your life and that was that (which I guess in many ways is actually true). However, in my mind, hearts were supposed to last until you’re old and grey. They were supposed to just keep on beating and keep loved ones alive. They were not supposed to stop beating after 65 short years, leaving your family with a gaping hole where a seemingly strong man had once been. Ten years ago I perhaps knew that this scenario could happen but what I didn’t know was that it could happen to my family and take my dad. What I didn’t know was that one phone call from a hospital number can turn the world upside down and make you realize how fragile life really is. What I didn’t know was that heart health is not just a given. Since my dad’s death, I’ve learned a thing or two about heart health. I’ve made changes in my life and learned more about how MitoQ can help maintain my heart health so that hopefully I’ll be around for my kids much longer than my dad was around. Put quite simply, I’ve learned that heart health is not a given so I wanted to take a moment to share with all of you what I’ve learned about why heart health matters and tips to maintain good heart health.
Why Heart Health Matters to Me
October 1, 2011 started just like any other day for me. I was a new mom with my second son. I remember it being an uncharastically warm day and so my family spent the day outdoors and making a trip to the mall to buy new shoes for our youngest who we just knew was going to start walking soon. I remember being euphoric that day in the way that parents are when a big milestone is approaching. As I cooked dinner (beef stroganoff…I really do remember the strangest things about that day), our home phone rang. After seeing a hospital number pop up, I immediately got a weird feeling but I answered, determined that whatever was going on, we’d figure it out. I was the first person the hospital was able to reach and they were desperately trying to contact my mom. My dad had had a “cardiac event” while on the golf course and had been admitted. Truthfully, I was scared but I thought we’d be dealing with a lengthy recovery. I thought we’d have a second chance. I had no idea that after numerous questions about how my dad was a doctor I had never met would pick up the phone and change my world as he told me that he was sorry but my dad had passed away. Two weeks after his 65th birthday, my dad was dead and there was nothing that could be said or done to change that harsh reality.
While some people may say that 31 isn’t that young to lose a parent, it is. While they may say that my dad at least got to be part of the important moments like walking me down the aisle and see his four grandchildren born, there were so many more moments that he was supposed to be a part of. Every single important moment in my children’s lives, I feel his absence. At grandparents’ day and sports games and graduations, he’s not there.
This can never be changed. While I have so many amazing memories of my dad, my youngest son doesn’t even remember him. Sure, he looks at the photo that we sat on his dresser of the last time he ever rode on his Papa’s shoulders and says “That’s Papa!” but when it comes to actually remembering the man that would have taught him so many amazing things, he has nothing but a few pictures and the memories that I’ve tried my best to conjure through words.
My boys don’t know the man who loved them more than the whole entire world. They can’t invite him to school plays. They can’t call him when they score the winning goal. They can’t sit with him and listen to him tell stories about how he came to the hospital when they were born and sat in the dark holding them, memorizing every tiny detail of their perfect little faces. They can’t do any of these things because the unthinkable happened.
That’s why heart health matters to me.
So, I know this is a sad story and one that I hope none of you ever experience but walking this path with my family taught me many things about taking care of myself. Would you be surprised if I told you that when my dad died, I weighed almost 200 pounds and was winded when I climbed a set of stairs? Would you believe me if I told you that I was neglecting my health perhaps in more glaring ways that my dad did? After his death on October 1st, I made a decision to live my best life and maintain my heart health.
What Are My Best Tips to Help Maintain Good Heart Health?
My dad’s story has a sad ending. But there are days when I think perhaps what happened to him was the thing that spurred me to take better care of myself. No, I don’t always make perfect choices but I have learned that there are some simple daily changes I can make that will help maintain my heart health and hopefully prevent my own grandchildren from having the same experience that my children have had.
As I researched heart health, I learned that as we get older (or even if we get sick), the mitochondria within the cells of our heart muscles become less efficient and don’t generate the same amount of energy or level of antioxidants that they once did. When this happens, the heart and blood vessels are exposed to free radical damage, which is known to be a significant risk factor to declining cardiovascular health and can increase the chances of developing heart conditions in the future. While I know this can sound scary (after all, we can’t control aging and sickness in all instances) there are things that all of us can do to maintain our heart health.
We can do things like exercise daily.
We can make better choices when it comes to our diet.
Or perhaps the easiest choice we can make is adding MitoQ once a day. This tiny little pill is the world’s first free-radical-fighting CoQ10 antioxidant that can both penetrate our cells’ mitochondrial membrane and act exclusively inside mitochondria (remember we talked about the mitochondria in your heart earlier?). Remember those antioxidants that I talked about earlier than can be affected by aging and sickness? Well, we can get those antioxidants from certain foods and they are even naturally produced in our bodies but as we get older the natural production of them begins to decline.
That’s where MitoQ comes in! It provides our bodies with a unique form of Co- enzyme Q10 antioxidant (that’s the official scientific name for the CoQ10 antioxidants that the body naturally makes), that can help us combat the aging process and help build our natural resilience towards illness. MitoQ actually penetrates the mitochondrial membrane and acts directly inside the mitochondria. That means that with MitoQ, I can support organ health, maintain energy output, support natural resilience and help slow down the aging process in my body.
That sounds like a lot for one supplement to do but remember MitoQ is not just any supplement. There is no other CoQ10 supplement that can penetrate the mitochondria at the same levels as MitoQ. On my quest for better heart health, that makes the addition of MitoQ an easy decision that perfectly complements my overall plan to help maintain my heart health so that I’ll be around for my children and my grandchildren and perhaps even my great-grandchildren for many years to come.
So, in case you are wondering why I shared my story and all these tips with you, let me challenge you by saying this. Whether you’ve had a heart health related event in your family that has impacted you or not, remember that all of us are only given one heart. My dad’s didn’t last nearly long enough. I hope that I am making positive changes that will help mine last longer. What about you? What steps are you taking to maintain your heart health? Start today but taking a brisk walk, eating a better meal and adding MitoQ to your daily routine.
Now tell me, what do you do on a daily basis to maintain your heart health?