Laila Ali in Detroit for Wear Red Day talking women's heart health

Laila Ali is a powerful woman and she has a powerful message. 

She was in Detroit for the Wear Red Day luncheon at the Marriot at the Renaissance Center.

Go Red Day promotes awareness for heart disease in women.

"Go Red for Women is such an important campaign," Ali said. "Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and I just wanted to encourage women to empower themselves and to take care of themselves.

"We can fight this disease."

The daughter of former boxing champion and sports icon Mohammed Ali, Laila is a world-class athlete in her own right.  She was an undefeated boxer and now a mother of two children and television host.

Ali said Friday was an important chance to spread what can be a life-saving message.

"A lot of people have the misconception that being healthy means going to the gym, working out two hours a day and only eating salads," she said. "That is not the case. Being healthy is for one, knowing in your mind that you can take control of your health. 

"Then, it's being real with yourself and the changes you need to make in your life to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle."

Ali said that food plays a big role in leading a healthier, heart-friendly lifestyle.

"Nutrition is eating clean food, food from the earth," she said. "Fresh meat, grains, fruits and vegetables. Foods that aren't processed and packaged. Health and fitness have to be your priority.

"Trying to get in 30 minutes of working out on a daily basis. You don't have to start with 30 minutes, Do 10 minutes - until you can get to that point where you can do cardio vascular exercise every day."

FOX 2: "Did you ever have any issues?"

"Before I started boxing, I wasn't healthy, I wasn't fit," Ali said. "I was like most young women eating junk food, not working out. When I decided to become a champion, that's when I learned what it took and how important it was to have nutrition for a good performance and how important it was."

FOX 2: "How is your dad's health? Now he's a grandfather, do you see a sparkle in his eyes when he's around his grandkids?"

"Definitely," Ali said. "My father loves all children and he especially loves his grandchildren. He is doing well. He's been struggling with Parkinson's Disease for 35 years, he is so strong, he is such a champion. 

"We are so proud of him."

The message of heart health for women continues all month long, it is a heart healthy month.    

For more information about Wear Red Day and how the month of February helps promote the message of raising awareness about heart disease in women, click here:

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