Actress Connie Britton has gained legions of fans throughout her career thanks in large part to two powerful female roles on two beloved TV dramas (Friday Night Lights and Nashville). But it’s her recent activism for women’s heart issues that’s generating headlines.
The four-time Emmy nominee is partnering with Quaker Oats and WomenHeart to raise awareness about one of the leading causes of death in the United States, heart disease.
“I found out fairly recently that heart disease is the number one risk for women and I feel like people don’t talk about that,” Britton told The Huffington Post. “I like to advocate for women, so it felt really important to me to get this conversation out there.”
Britton told Parade.com that she became an actress to become an advocate and when the opportunity arose to be the face of awareness for the issue, it was something she immediately embraced.
“Quaker has been involved in the issue of heart health for many, many years I wanted to get involved because I want this to be a conversation among women,” she said.
“I want this to be something we talk about with each other in conversation. I want us to support each other.”
Fighting heart disease starts by living a healthier lifestyle, which includes eating better, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. Heart screenings are also important for prevention.
“You can do it as part of a physical,” Britton told AOL.com. “Women, in particular, notoriously take care of everybody else and don’t take care of themselves, so I also really want to encourage women to take the time that you need so that you can do this really simple screening. It’s straightforward, and you get a lot of information. It’s incredibly important to take time for yourself, and I think we lose sight of that.”
Britton also acknowledges that every person is different and what’s good for her might not be good for someone else.
“I really try to encourage women to get to know their own body,” she told The Huffington Post while noting that improving her mental state is part of her daily routine. In fact, studies show that depression and stress can assist in the development of heart disease.
“Meditation has become a part of my life,” Britton said. “It’s literally just sitting and accessing your breath and letting your mind quiet. You can do it for five or 10 minutes a day. It’s nice to take longer, but as women, particularly, it becomes hard to take that time for ourselves.”
To learn more about warning signs ways to prevent heart disease visit QuakerOats.com/hearttalks and follow the hashtag #HeartTalks.
Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for Quaker/AP Images