Heart Healthy Lifestyle For Kids
You may think that since children are so young, they're free from all the health issues older adults experience. However, this isn't the case at all. With obesity and high cholesterol becoming more and more common among individuals, particularly Americans, children as young as 2 years old may be at risk for developing various illnesses, one of which is heart disease.
It should come as no surprise that children are no longer as healthy as they used to be. With their preference for high cholesterol food with no nutritional value and increasing addiction to time consuming social media and video games, there no longer is an avenue for kids to get the right amount of healthy food and exercise. As parents, it is not only their responsibility to provide good education and teach them right from wrong, it is also their task to instill healthy habits that they will carry on as they get older.
Here are a few tips for kids to get started on their way to heart and overall health:
Cut Down Screen Time
Screen time is spent in front of the computer or television. These days, it has become part of the routine of youngsters to spend countless hours surfing the internet or playing video games. Blame it on technology, but kids lack time interacting with their actual surroundings. This sedentary lifestyle is the cause of weight gain which leads to high blood pressure, obesity and heart problems. Limit screen time to 2 hours a day, unless it is school related, and instead get your kids to help around the house. Explain the importance of physical activity in their daily routine.
Work in More Exercise
Encourage your kids to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Find activities that your children enjoy and get them to participate more in them. If your child loves sports, let him try out for the soccer or baseball team. If you see the potential dancer in your kid, let her do ballet or jazz. You can also ask your child to join you in your exercise routine. An evening jog around the neighborhood, a weekend hike up a trail or afternoon laps at a nearby pool, not only keep diabetes and weight gain at bay but strengthen the bond with your family while preventing heart disease.
Eat Healthy Food
A major part of a healthy lifestyle is a healthy diet. Create meals that are nutritious to protect your child's heart from disease. Try to include foods from each food groups and explain the importance of each in their health. When dining out, help them select more healthy options and limit or avoid foods that are fried or rich in saturated and trans fat. Replace sugary and high cholesterol snacks with fruits or other healthy alternatives. If your kids still crave pizza, burgers and the like, allow one day once a week for them to eat what they want. Consider this a reward for following a nutritious and healthy lifestyle.