Cardiovascular disease is not a common health concern among young children. However, it is one of the major causes of death for adults. Fortunately, there are ways you can start early at keeping your children on the path to good heart health that will continue throughout their adult years. As long as these good health practices begin early and remain in place during adulthood, the risks of cardiovascular disease can be greatly reduced. These are some important steps to take to keep your children heart healthy.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
Only a small percent of children are diagnosed with high blood pressure each year. However, high blood pressure in a child can lead to heart problems as an adult. The blood pressure is normally tested at every visit with a physician. This is done to monitor a child's blood pressure and make sure that no unexpected issues arise.
To keep your child's blood pressure at a healthy level, limit the amount of salt he consumes. Teach him to choose healthy foods that have natural seasonings instead of adding large amounts of salt to his food before eating it. Also encourage your child to drink lots of water to help keep any excess salt flushed out of his young body.
Help Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Obesity is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease. If a child is obese, chances are that he may also grow up to be obese as an adult. Once your child has passed the toddler years and much of his baby fat has come off, it is very important to prevent him from becoming overweight.
Choose healthy foods for your child to eat on a daily basis. Encourage lean meats, a variety of vegetables and low sugar fruits at every meal. Limit snacks that contain a high fat or sugar content. If a child begins enjoying healthy foods at a young age, he may be less likely to take interest in consuming those cakes, cookies and candies that can pack on the extra weight fast.
Encourage Lots Of Exercise
For children and adults, one of the best ways to keep the heart healthy is to stay active. The more exercise a child gets, the healthier his heart will be. Spending at least 30 minutes a day being active keeps the heart pumping correctly, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and also helps the child maintain a healthy weight.
If your child enjoys sports, sign him up to participate in sports activities every season of the year. These activities also help keep his bones and muscles strong as well as give him a boost in self confidence. Many children who play sports continue to enjoy them as an adult, and this is a great way to begin the journey to a lifetime of good health.
It really is not hard to help your child have a heart healthy lifestyle. If you practice these same steps along with him, your heart can become much healthier as well. Contact a children cardiology center for more information.