Did you know that based on 2016 data, cardiovascular disease is responsible for at least 840.678 deaths in the United States alone? Not to mention, yearly there are at least around 7.037 children under 18 years old worldwide that experienced cardiac arrest outside of hospital. According to the same study, cardiomyopathy is also the most common cause of death among young athletes. This raises the serious need of care on the health of your children’s heart.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in the United States, at least one out of five children in the United States have abnormal amounts of cholesterol. This could mean two things: either their good cholesterol (HDL) is too low, or the bad one (LDL & triglycerides) is too high. Usually, abnormal cholesterol is caused by obesity, which in turn will also increase their risk of heart disease.
Because February is also the Heart month, we are now going to give you a few steps that you could start today in order to help keep your children’s heart healthy now and in the future!
Eat well, drink well
There are many things you can do to keep your children’s heart healthy, and one of the easiest ways is to strictly control what they eat and drink daily. According to the American Health Association, everyone should have a healthy diet that includes whole grains, food with a high amount of fibers, poultry, dairy products with low-fat, and fish at least two times every week.
If your child needs something to snack on, you might want to say goodbye to snacks full of fat, and instead start giving them healthy snack options such as crackers and string cheese, nuts, dried fruits, or Greek yogurt with apple as its company.
However, foods are not the only thing that you need to give care to! Make sure you also watch what they are drinking to keep your children’s heart healthy. You should start replacing beverages that have low nutrients and high amounts of sugar like soda with something more nutritious such as mineral water, low-fat milk—or even non-fat, and fruit juice in moderation.
Do physical activities as you see fit
Did you know that in order to keep your children’s heart healthy, they should have at least an hour of physical activity each day? Those activities should also have moderate to vigorous intensity, because that way your children’s heart will get stronger. There are many things you could do with your kids such as running, cycling, or even jumping rope.
“But what if it’s cold outside?” That should not be a problem! If the weather is way too nasty outside, you can do some games inside that keep your children moving. There are a few video games nowadays that will also help your kids to get fit, or you can simply dance around to their favourite music together with them!
In order to make it fun as you keep your children’s heart healthy, you should always make and do the activity as a family. Incorporate games to their activities, celebrate their success as they win a competition, or you can simply take them to the grocery store together so they can also plan for the night’s dinner!