Did you know our heart is a muscle, and just like our other muscles this one needs a workout, which we all know can be difficult to do. Keeping with our Heart Health theme for the month, according to the American Heart Association, regular physical activity benefits people who have heart disease as well as those who do not. Read on to find out why exercise is important for heart health and how to incorporate it into our busy lives with our kids.
Your heart and lungs were made for physical activity. The heart muscle is strengthened with regular and moderate, and activity, but any form of physical activity is better than none. A stronger heart improves your heart’s ability to pump blood to your lungs and throughout your body. This means more blood flows throughout your body to provide oxygen. According to the CDC youth and adults with risk factors for heart disease (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol) who enjoy regular physical activity, have lower health risks than people who have no risk factors but who aren’t physically active.
So how much physical activity do we need:
- Youth should have 60 minutes a day.
- Adults should have 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity.
- Adults and older youth should have at least two days a week of activities that strengthen your muscles.
There is an uptick in recent years of youth getting Type Two Diabetes, one-third of American youth are overweight, a problem closely related to the increase in kids with diabetes as young as 10 years old. So aside from the physical activity what else can we do? Here are 4 things we can do to maintain a healthy weight and set our kids up for success with heart health.
- Limit screen time to 2 hours a day
- Turn chores into games like racing to see how fast it can be done
- Make exercise a family activity
- Practice good nutrition (which we will talk more about next week)
As always make sure you contact your medical provider if you have any questions about nutrition or exercise. As always, remember every family is different. What may work for you, might not work for another family. Let’s build each other up!