Angela Bassett "if you want it you can get it..." Notorious
Angela Bassett Wants You To Take ONE Simple Step To Protect Your Heart
Next year, Angela Bassett is set to star as the Queen Mother in Marvel'sBlack Panther, a sergeant in the new procedural drama9-1-1, and a CIA director inMission: Impossible 6. (“I’m just that person who likes to work,” she says.)
But there’s one role that’s especially close to her heart: health advocate. Earlier this year, Bassett teamed up with the For Your SweetHeart campaign to raise awareness of the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
“When I heard of the campaign, it really struck a chord with me because my mother—who’smysweetheart, and the person who always encouraged me to follow my dreams of becoming an actress—developed type 2 diabetes, and about three years ago, she died from heart disease,” Bassett says.
(Start walking—and slashing your risk for heart disease and diabetes—with the plan inWalk Your Way to Better Health!)
Now, the 59-year-old actress hopes to help others with type 2 diabetes understand their risk and take steps to stay healthy. “I feel that if I’d had more knowledge five or six years ago, then I could have been more of an advocate, or shed more light, or been more helpful for her,” she adds.
We spoke with Bassett about her work with For Your SweetHeart—and why it’s important to make time for your health, no matter how busy life gets. (Try these 5 ways to get a walk in no matter how busy and stressed you are.)
Prevention:What are you hoping to accomplish through your work with For Your SweetHeart?
Angela Bassett:My goal is linked up with that of the campaign—to help individuals and communities understand the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Those who have type 2 diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. The sooner you know your risk, the more you and your doctor together can do to combat that.
MORE:6 Conditions That Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease
PVN: Having a family history of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are there any changes you’ve made to your own lifestyle to reduce your risk?
AB:Well, I’m conscientious about exercising moderately, and being conscious about my diet, and being in communication with my doctor so if we see something, we can deal with something.
PVN: Do you enjoy exercising?
AB:Not really, but I find what I can enjoy. I won’t be hiking, but I can do wonders with a treadmill.
Psst! Here's how to get 10,000 steps a day without walking more:
PVN: Did you have to do any sort of intense training for your role inBlack Panther?
AB:I didn’t, but my “son”—the Panther—he certainly had to! It was incredible, the amount of work and physicality that went into planning for that.
MORE:I Did 10 Minutes Of Strength Training Every Day For A Month, And Here's What Happened
PVN: How about your new show,9-1-1?
AB:These first responders deal with a variety of extreme situations, but they also have their own issues and strains and stressors, so we’re going to see both sides of that equation. We’re running around and saving lives—I’m running, I’m grabbing, I’m falling, I’m slipping for my job. It’s a great thing, because it encourages me to take care of myself off-hours as well. It’s a job that encourages me to do better.
PVN: What drew you to the role?
AB:It was a role that should have emotional range and depth. And I get to [film near] my family. ForPanther, I was on the other side of the country, so this was an opportunity to have family lifeandto work in a role that’s creatively satisfying.
MORE:These Stories Will Inspire You To Take A 'Gap Year,' No Matter Your Age
PVN:It’s easy to put your health on the back burner when you’re so busy. How do you find time in your schedule to take care of yourself?
AB:As women, we sacrifice for our families, for our kids, for our jobs. And the more we take care of ourselves, the better presentation we have for our jobs and for our families and for our kids and for our communities. So you have to take that time to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s not being selfish—it’s being that one for your family. You keep them going, and they keep you going.
MORE: 3 Surprising Ways Your Mom Influenced Your Health
PVN: Last but not least, what’s ONE step you hope people with type 2 diabetes will take to protect their heart health?
AB:Well, I’d like to encourage them to go to the website, ForYourSweetheart.com, take the “Heart You Quiz,” and find out their risk. Sign up to learn more, and Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company will donate that will be split between patient advocacy organizations and groups that are offering support and resources to those with type 2 diabetes. So they not only do good for themselves, but they also do good for others. I’d also encourage those individuals to visit their doctor and to learn what more they can do to manage their risk. It’s important to shed light on this, because if I had my mother one more day, that would mean so much to me.
Video: Black Panther's Angela Bassett Surprised Tiffany Haddish with an Unexpected Visit
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