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Star Jones on heart health and taking care of our bodies

Five years after open heart surgery, TV host Star Jones has traded “The View” for healthy causes like physical fitness, heart health and nutrition.

The recovery from that surgery — which required doctors to take Jones’ heart out of her chest to repair a genetic defect in an aortic valve — inspired her and reminded her that nothing is more important than health, Jones tells the Sun-Times.

“After three months of cardio rehab I could walk 12 city blocks without stopping. I had an amazing experience,” Jones said. “The thing that means the most to you as a woman has to be your health. I made it my mission to make heart health my platform.”

She now serves as the American Heart Association’s National Volunteer, making appearances at the group’s “Go Red” events all over the country.

The fatigue and lightheadedness that sent Jones to the cardiologist came seven years after her weight loss surgery, so Jones is no stranger to fighting for her health. Finding herself morbidly obese at 41, she had a gastric bypass. 

She’s still working to keep the weight off, she said.

“I have to make really good food choices and I have to get some exercise,” she said. “Everybody likes to make it really complicated. What we need to do is eat less and move more.”

“Make small incremental changes: modify what you have in front of you, eat until you’re satisfied, get some real exercise,” Jones said.

The author, TV personality and lawyer advocates for the American Care Act and diversity in business as well. As one of the founding partners of the National Association of Professional Women, Jones said she is promoting fitness among the group’s members for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

“Physical fitness does improve productivity and improve your focus,” Jones said.

It’s all about spreading her motto: “For she who has health has hope, and she who has hope has everything.”