Maria Simon, national spokesperson for the Go Red Por Tu Corazón (GRPTC) campaign, has been a key volunteer for American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Latino programs in Southern California for several years. Maria appeared last season as a trainer on Univision’s popular weight-loss program, “Dale Con Ganas.”
In addition to her successful career as a fitness expert, she now travels across the country to raise awareness for GRPTC. The program empowers Latinas to raise awareness about women’s risk for heart disease and stroke as part of the national Go Red For Women® movement.
Despite her tight schedule as national spokesperson, Maria still makes time to participate in local Latino outreach events. Her Zumba dance group creates excitement for fitness at activities around Orange County and Los Angeles – helping people realize that exercise can be fun. She is pictured, at left, with volunteer Angeles Guerrero at an event held at La Curacao in Fountain Valley during Stroke Month. She also recently represented the American Heart Association at the “Women to Women - Living Longer, Living Smarter Summit" held in South Gate by AARP and the office of Assemblyman Ricardo Lara.
Maria says her passion for fitness began as she realized the empowerment which came from understanding how she could help herself feel better, live healthier and be stronger. As she explains on her website
, she became overweight after the birth of her two children.
“I tried every diet in the book and a few I made up myself... nothing worked! I spoke with doctors, trainers, counselors…and in the process I gained knowledge about how my body works and how it is connected to my mind and heart. After losing approximately 80 pounds, I began meeting many women in similar situations and I wanted to help them,” Maria says.
She brings that same passion to the fight against heart disease. “This is a cause very close to my heart, figuratively and literally,” she notes. Maria lost her father and an aunt to heart disease. In her role as national Go Red Por Tu Corazón spokesperson, Maria is inspiring Latinas to embrace the cause and make healthy lifestyle choices for themselves and their families.