Maria Beall, Mrs. Chesterfield International, enjoys journey in preventing cardiovascular disease

Maria Beall, a Health Fitness Instructor through American College of Sports Medicine teaches all ages about taking care of their heart.
By: FWM LLC
 
 
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Nov. 29, 2008 - PRLog -- The statistics are staggering: 60 percent of Americans are considered overweight; 30 percent are considered obese. One out of every two will be affected by heart disease – still the number-one killer of Americans.

Its facts like these that Chesterfield resident Maria Beall wants to bring to the attention of others. Not only has she helped educate and inform her clients through her job as group exercise coordinator at American Family Fitness, but as reigning Mrs. Chesterfield champion, she's been able to take her message public to all ages.

Beall became interested in fitness around the time of her first sons birth. 'My mother-in-law, Gwen Beall, is an instructor at the Chester YMCA, and she got me into fitness,' she says.'I started watching what I was eating and I was doing a lot more walking. It wasn't that I was using a structured fitness regime; I was having a baby, but I still wanted to maintain my body. She stayed with her mother-in-law's advice long after her son was born, and has since seen her dress size drop from a 14 to a 2.

The experience would change her life. While raising her three sons, Beall decided to go back to college, attending Virginia Commonwealth University for degrees in exercise science and marketing. Now, she divides her time between American Family Fitness and her own coaching business, Fitness with Maria.  

In 1999, Beall participated in her first pageant, taking home the title of Mrs. Virginia America and winning every category. She would later go on to also be named Ms. World Elite Woman 2002, Mrs. Galaxy 2003, and Classic Ms. US of America 2005.

When I saw a pageant for Miss America in 1999, I thought it would be a great way to spread my knowledge about cardiovascular disease,Beall says. When you have a title, people are intrigued, so it lends more ears to your cause.

In her capacity as Mrs. Chesterfield, Beall is currently planning to visit local elementary, middle, and high schools, educating the students and faculty there. I'm partnering with the American Heart Association, which has provided me with tools, literature, and some really cool incentives to pass out to kids to stay healthy and incorporate fitness and healthy eating into their lives, Beall says. It won't be the first time she's done so; in addition to visiting other schools and retirement homes to promote healthy eating and living, Beall has also released fitness DVDs and a book, What Your Trainer Isn't Telling You.

The Mrs. Chesterfield title is part of the larger Mrs. International organization, and the group is a perfect fit for Beall. The reason I chose the Mrs. International system is that it's platform-based,she explains. Every contestant has a cause that's near and dear to her. The Mrs. International platform happens to be the Go Red campaign [an American Heart Association movement that hopes to wipe out heart disease and strokes among women], so that's why it's so dear to me. It’s what I've been working towards for two decades.0

The cause, Beall says, is so dear to her not only because heart disease is the number-one killer of Americans, but because it's avoidable. We know what causes it, she says.It's not exercising enough, eating too many saturated fats, too-high caloric intake. It's preventative. And staying healthy isn't as difficult as one might think.

The key is not to overanalyze,Beall says. The surgeon general tells us we should exercise most days of the week, and that something is better than nothing. Get up, get your heart rate up, and that's better than just sitting there. Stay active  be creative, and find something you love to do. She adds: Being in the fitness industry for 20 years, you see people age, and people assume that disease comes with age. That's not true. You can be older and disease-free, but you've got to be educated and take care of your body.

Beall is still staying active in the pageant circuit, and is currently gearing up for a shot at the Mrs. Virginia International crown in February at a ceremony to be held at the Cultural Center of India. If she takes home that victory, she'll move on to the Mrs. International competition in Chicago.

Hopefully, Beall says, a Mrs. Virginia International title might bring her a few steps closer to one of her main goals. 'I would love to be able to become a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and travel nationally for them',she says. 'I feel like they have great tools that would help me further my message. That would be a great dream for me.'

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FWM, LLC is a five year old company that educates individuals about taking care of their hearts and minds. We work primarily through the internet and have produced fitness dvds and a book, What Your Trainer Is Not Telling You.
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