September is National Cholesterol Education Month and World Heart Day is around the corner. At Sanofi, we are kicking off #OurHeartIsInIt, an initiative that aims to raise awareness about our commitment to cardiovascular disease and risk, while recognizing those who put heart into what they do.
Here is Randy Curtis’ story.
I’ll never forget going for my annual physical a few years ago and hearing my doctor say, “We need to talk about your cholesterol.” These were the scary yet empowering words that would jump-start the beginning of my journey to manage my high cholesterol and overall cardiovascular health.
I come from a family with a history of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. While I’ve always enjoyed playing sports recreationally, I had never committed to having a regular diet or exercise regimen. My doctor prescribed medication to help me lower my cholesterol levels, but I was still too sedentary and gaining weight. And then came the next warning from my doctor: that if I remained inactive, I could have issues and complications beyond high cholesterol, like diabetes
This sounded an alarm – catching my attention and inspiring me to begin looking for ways to incorporate a healthier lifestyle into my daily routine. I recently was introduced to a digital lifestyle change program offered at Sanofi US. This program combines the latest technology with ongoing support to help patients make decisions on ways to improve various aspects of their health, including diet, activity, sleep and stress. Once I signed up, I received a wireless digital smart scale and access to a personal coach. I even synced up the program to my smartwatch, so my daily steps and workouts were automatically captured in the digital app.
The work has paid off, and since registering for this program, I’ve lost 15 pounds! I’ve also learned the importance of taking a more holistic approach to your health. You can’t change your family’s history, but you can pay closer attention to your body’s needs through regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, and appropriate medications, if needed.
It’s easy to fall into patterns and come up with excuses or reasons to prevent yourself from doing something. Trust me, I know! But to those who may be struggling with taking the first steps towards improving your health, I would encourage you to “put your heart in it” and start taking control of your cardiovascular health. Get out and start moving. Pick the right thing to eat. Do it for the people you love, because I wouldn’t have been able to go on this journey without the love and support of my wife and three children, who inspire me to keep going.
With September recognized as National Cholesterol Education Month, and World Heart Day just around the corner, there’s no time like the present to put your heart first and reset your attitude around your health. As I say to my kids, the best time to plant a tree is always thirty years ago. I’m proud of the meaningful changes I’ve made to my lifestyle to help me better manage my cholesterol and am excited to continue to remain active and share fun experiences with my family and friends.