Regis Philbin gives update on his health over a decade after undergoing triple bypass surgery

Over a decade after undergoing triple bypass surgery in 2007, former "Live With Regis and Kelly" host Regis Philbin is opening up about his heart health journey.

SEE ALSO: Bob Harper reflects on the year since he suffered a heart attack

From the moment her first experienced chest pain back in 1992 while working with Kathie Lee Gifford to his current relaxed life after retirement, Philbin has had to make adjustments to his lifestyle that have allowed him to remain healthy throughout the last several decades.

In honor of February being Heart Health Month, AOL Entertainment caught up with Philbin over e-mail to further understand his years-long journey to heart health, his new initiative to help encourage others to learn from his experience and how he's been spending his days since leaving "Live" 11 years ago.

See photos of Regis Philbin:

18 PHOTOS
Regis Philbin through the years
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Regis Philbin through the years
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Regis Philbin arrives for the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on June 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 24: TV personality Regis Philbin enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on July 24, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: TV personality Regis Philbin enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on April 2, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: TV personality Regis Philbin enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on January 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Regis Philbin appears on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on January 31, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 17: Regis Philbin tells the Late Show audience that he was kissed on the lips by David Letterman when Letterman appeared earlier in the week on Philbin's show. Regis Philbin was Dave's guest on the Late Show with David Letterman on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by John P. Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 06: Television Personality Regis Philbin visits 'Late Show With David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on October 6, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa on set during Regis Philbin's Final Show of 'Live! with Regis & Kelly' at the Live with Regis & Kelly Studio on November 18, 2011 in New York New York. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Regis Philbin on set during Regis Philbin's Final Show of 'Live! with Regis & Kelly' at the Live with Regis & Kelly Studio on November 18, 2011 in New York New York. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 18: Television Personality Regis Philbin visits 'Late Show With David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on August 18, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)
Regis Philbin signs a large poster copy of his TV Guide cover in which he is dressed as Major Nelson from 'I Dream of Jeannie' (Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic)
Regis Philbin at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City, New York (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
385178 07: Talk show host Regis Philbin and new co-host Kelly Ripa speak to the audience during a broadcast of 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' February 5, 2001 in New York City. Ripa, who is known for her role on ABC's soap opera 'All My Children' replaces Kathie Lee Gifford who left the show in July 2000. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Newsmakers)
07/28/00 New York City Kathie Lee Gifford's final performance on TV's 'Live with Regis & Kathie Lee' at ABC studios. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
Regis Philbin during Regis Philbin Signs His New Book 'I'm Only One Man' - September 12, 1995 at B. Dalton Bookstore in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Regis Philbin during Revlon's Unforgettable Women of 1990 at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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Read our full conversation with Regis Philbin below:

You first experienced chest pains while on a work trip in 1992 with co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. Can you describe that experience for us? Did it prompt any sort of realization about your health?

That’s right. Nearly three decades ago I was down in Miami shooting a commercial on a cruise ship with Kathie Lee and started experiencing chest pains. I was rushed to the hospital where I was shocked to learn I had a blocked artery and would need an angioplasty right away. Then in 2007, a stress test revealed the angioplasty was no longer having a desired effect and I had to have triple bypass surgery. I called my good friend David Letterman who put me in touch with the surgeons who did his surgery, which was relieving, but still pretty scary. The experience made me realize I needed to take my heart health seriously.

How has that moment impacted your life since?

I see my doctor a lot more often. Good thing I like the guy! After my heart health scare, I immediately saw my doctor who put me on a statin to manage my high cholesterol levels. I’ve also made sure to speak up when something wasn’t feeling right; after a while, I started experiencing muscle aches and fatigue from my first statin regimen, so my doctor switched me to another statin that was a better fit for me. I’m glad I had that conversation with my doctor.

What sorts of things have you learned since focusing on your heart health?

Given my own experience with heart disease, I was shocked to learn that at least 50 percent of people who start a statin quit taking it within the first year. This was a great surprise to me as statins have helped me to enjoy life without the worry of having high cholesterol. I urge everyone to talk to their doctor before they stop their statin and find the one that’s right for them. It has really made all the difference for me.

Surely you've made changes to your overall daily routine to help maintain your heart health. Talk us through some of those changes.

Before my heart health scare, I wasn’t very disciplined when it came to my diet. Now, I still enjoy the foods I’ve always loved but in moderation. I mostly stick to chicken and vegetables for weekly dinners and work out at a gym a few days a week to help my strength and muscle tone. My cardio could use some work, so I’ve been trying to add more exercises to my routine to get my heart rate up a few times a week.

How are you encouraging the public to take control of their heart health? Why did you want to speak out through Take Cholesterol to Heart?

By joining the Take Cholesterol to Heart campaign, I hope to encourage people learn more about statins and share tips on having the statin conversation with their doctor. I joined the campaign because getting my heart health back on track has made all the difference in my life, and I truly hope others will join me in doing the same. The Take Cholesterol To Heart website has some great tips on talking to your doctor, and you can also learn more about my own heart health journey.

Speaking up about health issues takes courage! How do you see this fitting into your overall legacy?

I’ve made a career out of speaking candidly to the public, and that includes sharing my heart disease experience and major heart surgeries. A long career and the gift of time with my family and friends have been possible because I speak with my doctor regularly and stay on the right statin for me. I hope by sharing my own heart health experience, others will be encouraged to speak up to their doctor to find the statin that works best for them. In addition to my career accomplishments and incredible experiences along the way, I’m proud to include this campaign as part of my legacy.

You've enjoyed a more relaxed work schedule since leaving "Live" nearly seven years ago. How do you spend your time on your off days? Have you taken up any hobbies?

I had a great run with “Live” and was fortunate to retire on a high note with a lot of support from the show and from fans. While there are days I do miss working, it’s been a nice change of pace to focus more on relaxing and spending time with my wife Joy and our kids and grandkids. I also continue to stay physically and mentally active by playing tennis and keeping up with the stock market.

RELATED: See photos of Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa together:

27 PHOTOS
Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa together
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Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa together
385178 08: Talk show host Regis Philbin and new co-host Kelly Ripa speak to the audience during a broadcast of 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' February 5, 2001 in New York City. Ripa, who is known for her role on ABC's soap opera 'All My Children' replaces Kathie Lee Gifford who left the show in July 2000. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Newsmakers)
NEW YORK - APRIL 26: Actress and talk show host Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin prepares for a photo shoot with celebrity photographer Andrew Eccles during a day-in-the-life story in New York. (Photo by Todd Plitt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 26: Actress and talk show host Kelly Ripa poses with Actor and talk show host Regis Philbin at a photo shoot with celebrity photographer Andrew Eccles on April 26, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Todd Plitt/Getty Images)
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin during Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa Host the Second Annual Relly Awards on 'LIVE with Regis and Kelly' at ABC-TV Studios in Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic)
Kelly Ripa, Regis Philbin, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin during 16th Annual PAL Women of The Year Luncheon honoring Kelly Ripa and Paula Zahn at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin during Live with Regis and Kelly - June 16, 2005 at ABC Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin during Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa Host the Third Annual Relly Awards on 'Live with Regis and Kelly' at ABC-TV Studios in Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic)
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin during Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin Filming Commercial on Manhattan's Upper West Side - September 26, 2005 at Upper West Side in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 6: Daytime talk show hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa arrive to the 2005 IRTS Foundation Awards at the Waldorf Astoria on October 6, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin during Hilary Duff, Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin Visit the 'Late Show with David Letterman' - November 9, 2005 at Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
LAKE BEUNA VISTA, FL - DECEMBER 3: In this handout image provided by Walt Disney World, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, hosts of the talk show 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' pose in front of the Cinderella Castle during the taping of the 'ABC-TV Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade' December 3, 2005 in the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World via Getty Images)
Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa during Premiere of Disney Pixar's 'CARS' at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, United States. (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Disney Pictures)
Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin during Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa Host the Fourth Annual Relly Awards on 'Live with Regis and Kelly' at ABC-TV Studios in Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Roger Federer, 2007 US Open Champion, with hosts Regis Philbin (C) and Kelly Ripa during 'Live with Regis and Kelly' on September 10, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images For ATP)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 08: Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin film outside ABC'S ''Live with Regis and Kelly' show in New York city on February 8, 2008. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JULY 02: Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin attend the Hamptons Magazine Celebration with Cover Star Kelly Ripa sponsored by Bacardi Mojito at the Empire Hotel Rooftop, NYC on July 2, 2008 (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JULY 31: (L to R) NASCAR Sprint Cup race car driver Jimmie Johnson, Kelly Ripa, and Regis Philbin pose for photos at the 'Live With Regis And Kelly' taping at the ABC Building on July 31, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NO MIDDLE EAST/INDIA/RUSSIA - Photo � 2008 Santiago Baez/The Grosby Group - New York, September 10th, 2008 KELLY RIPA stays busy on Times Square taking photos with her iPhone as her hair was being fixed while shooting with her co-host REGIS PHILBIN. PGsb6 (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
NO MIDDLE EAST/INDIA/RUSSIA - Photo � 2008 Santiago Baez/The Grosby Group - New York, September 10th, 2008 KELLY RIPA stays busy on Times Square taking photos with her iPhone as her hair was being fixed while shooting with her co-host REGIS PHILBIN. PGsb6 (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
MIAMI - MAY 06: Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa is sighted on May 6, 2009 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Oprah Winfrey attend 'The Oprah Winfrey Show: Fridays Live from New York' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on September 18, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Television personalities Regis Philbin (L) and Kelly Ripa host the High Heel-A-Thon on 'Live With Regis And Kelly' in Central Park on September 22, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
TV personalities Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa are seen outside the 'Live With Regis and Kelly studios on June 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa attend a press conference on Regis's departure from 'LIVE! with Regis and Kelly' at ABC Studios on November 17, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 04: TV personalities Kelly Ripa (L) and Regis Philbin films a segment at the 'Live With Regis And Kelly' taping at the ABC Lincoln Center Studios on August 4, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY - Regis Philbin says goodbye as co-host of LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY, 11/18/11, airing in more than 200 markets across the country and distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa display the key to the city which was presented by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Photo by David Russell/ABC via Getty Images)
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