Heart Health in February

February Heart Health Month

It is February and time to celebrate our kids’ HEARTS!

Heart health can start at an early age, getting your child or teen moving can decrease their chances of heart disease in the future.

The benefits of exercising:

  • Maintains or lowers blood pressure or heart rate.
  • Helps with weight control (along with a healthy diet)
  • Maintains or lowers blood cholesterol levels.
  • Strengthens skeletal and cardiac muscle.
  • Reduces stress, which can keep your heart rate low.
  • Improves sleep.
  • It’s fun!

How to start an Exercise plan with your child or teen:

Set goals with your child with physical milestones such as walking to school 2-5x/week, dog walking everyday for 1 hour, running the school track without stopping, or even a jump rope goal.

Make a timeline to reach their goals, say 2 weeks, and make a reward for getting it done!

Use the FITT Principle:

  • Frequency: Try to get aerobic exercise every day and perform strength exercises 3 x/ week
  • Intensity: Encourage moderate to vigorous levels of intensity with heart rate targets from 50-85%.
  • Time: Try to get 60 minutes of exercise a day, it does not have to be all at once and can performed throughout the day.
  • Type: heart-healthy exercises to choose from, including aerobic exercises like running and biking, as well as strengthening exercises such as push-ups and squats.

By incorporating regular physical activity into your kid’s daily routine your kids will not only improve their heart health but can create lifelong habits of exercise!

For more information about kids heart health go to:

American Heart Association
Physical Activity Guidelines | CDC

By Robin Bousquet, PT

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