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World Heart Day – The Importance of Heart Health

World Heart Day is September 29, 2020. World Heart Day is a global campaign aimed at encouraging everyone to participate in activities to take charge of heart health. The SPARK team at Boys Town National Research Hospital is here to help you understand how you can keep your own heart healthy.

Regular exercise is one of the most important ways to maintain heart health. It's recommended that children receive at least 60 minutes of good physical activity per day. Encouraging kids to be physically active every day can help them develop good habits and ensure heart health in the future!

A healthy diet is another great method for keeping the blood pumping in a healthy way. While it can seem convenient to grab a burger at the drive-through, making the time to purchase and eat healthy snacks and meals has long-term benefits for kids – and the whole family!

Living a healthy lifestyle can help your children stay focused in school, lower their risk for heart-related health conditions in the future and maintain normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Here are six lifestyle choices you and your family can make to keep your hearts healthy!

Learn Your Family Health History

Know your risks and talk to your family and doctor about your health history. Depending on your child's age, talk to them about healthy living and how to avoid health risks.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Make healthy food choices like more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Eat less salt, saturated fat and added sugar.

Rethink Your Drink

Substitute water for sugary drinks to reduce calories.

Move More, Sit Less

Children and adolescents should have at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Parents should join their kids as often as possible, whether it's a walk around the neighborhood, a bike ride or a vigorous game of tag in the yard.

Remember Mental Health

Kids can become stressed about school, friends or everyday life. Encourage your kids to be open with their emotions, as bottling up stress can negatively impact heart health.

Give Yourselves Grace

Changing a lifestyle habit is never easy, but it's ok to start small. Health changes happen over time, and it's important to keep at it for the long-term benefits. Encourage your kids to take the journey with you!

Nutrition;Stress;Sports and Fitness Pediatrics