Contrary to popular belief, adults are not the only ones who can develop heart disease. This condition can develop at any age. Many children have congenital heart disease, which means that they were born with it. However, some children have heart disease as the result of their lifestyle choices. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to improve cardiovascular health in your children.
Ways to Promote Heart Health In Children:
Make Sure That Your Children Eat Healthy
A poor diet can contribute to heart disease. You should make sure that your children eat plenty of fruits and vegetables because they are filled with fiber and vitamins that protect the heart. You should make sure that your children get plenty of omega 3 fatty acids in their diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of heart disease. They also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Salmon and tuna are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. There are also plant-based foods that have omega 3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds and walnuts.
You will also need to limit your children’s intake of sodium. Studies have shown that sodium can raise blood pressure. You can add flavor to your children’s food by using herbs and spices instead of salt. You will also need to limit the amount of processed foods that your children eat. “It is estimated that 90 percent of the sodium in the American diet comes from processed foods,” said Children’s Cardiovascular Medicine.
Get More Physical Activity
Most children today are not getting enough exercise. It is estimated that 74 percent of children who are between the ages of five and 10 do not get enough exercise. Ninety percent of high school students do not get enough exercise. Regular physical activity helps fight heart disease.
Regular exercise helps children maintain a healthy body weight. Studies have shown that children who are obese are more likely to develop heart disease. Not only does exercise help one burn calories, but it also helps strengthen the heart. Furthermore, exercise helps reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two of the main factors that increase the risk of heart disease.
Experts recommend that children get at least 60 minutes of exercise in per day. There are many ways that you can ensure that your children to get the recommended amount of exercise. You can encourage them to participate in a sport. You can also go for a daily walk with your children.
Additionally, it is a good idea to limit the amount of time that your children spend watching television and playing video games. Studies have shown that children who watch more than one hour of television per day are 60 percent more likely to be obese. Children who are active are likely to remain active when they are adults.
Make Sure That Your Children Get Plenty of Rest
It is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 30 percent of children are sleep-deprived. Fatigue is not the only problem that sleep deprivation can cause. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can increase the risk of high blood pressure and obesity. The amount of sleep that children need can vary depending on their age.
Preschool-aged children need to get 10 to 13 hours of sleep per night. School-aged children, who are between the ages of six and 13, need to get nine to 11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers need to get nine to 10 hours of sleep per night. You should try to keep your children on the same sleep schedule every day including weekends. This makes it easier for children to get the recommended amount of sleep.