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Angela Bassett: 'Exercise helps me fight off family diseases'

The star is committed to helping her community stay healthy.

Actress Angela Bassett works out to lower her risk of developing diseases that run in her family.

The American Horror Story star is fit and healthy at 58, but looking good is not the main reason behind her visits to the gym.

"I’m feeling really good," she tells New York Magazine's The Cut column. "I stay active, and I also make sure that I watch sugar, processed foods, things like that from my diet.

"About five years ago I had my yearly physical, and my doctor helped me lower my risk for heart disease because I am genetically predisposed to it."

The illness has had such a lethal impact on Angela's family, she has decided to team up with medical executives to star in the For Your Sweet Heart campaign, which was designed to bring awareness to heart disease and diabetes.

"My mother had type 2 diabetes and she died of heart disease," she shares, "and her brother, my uncle, also has the condition. Unfortunately, it’s very much a family matter. I got involved (with the campaign) at the top of the year after they approached me."

Angela, who shares 11-year-old fraternal twins with her actor husband Courtney B. Vance, has also taken on the For Your Sweet Heart initiative in an effort to lead a healthy example for her kids.

"I want to be known for being a wonderful mother to my children," she smiles, "and also someone who is passionate about her gift, about acting, and about her community. I’m sorry, but it can’t just be one thing!"

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