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The Connection Between Children’s Heart Health And Exercise

Posted on: May 28th, 2014 by Pulse


Many parents love to see their children exercise because of the many benefits that exercise and physical fitness offers to young people. Kids who exercise regularly have been shown to have higher self esteem and may have better focus at school and sleep better at night.

Another huge benefit of physical activity for kids is the high correlation between physical activity and juvenile heart health. Here are five heart healthy reasons to make sure your child is receiving the recommended hour a day of physical activity.

1. Exercise Has Been Shown to Increase Levels of HDL Cholesterol

Maintaining high levels of HDL plays a huge part in making sure that your child’s heart is healthy. While some people may associate cholesterol with negative heart health, the fact is that there are two different types of cholesterol.

HDL is often referred to as good cholesterol because in effect it keeps the body’s blood stream clean. HDL works to attack harmful cholesterol in the blood stream and helps lower instances of clogged arteries. Children who have higher levels of good cholesterol are much more likely to be healthy later in life and have a better chance of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels into adulthood.

2. Regular Exercise Maintains Weight

Physical fitness in children is very closely tied to their weight which, in turn, is directly related to heart health. Children who remain a healthy weight through out childhood are more likely to be fit as adults and are much less likely to suffer from conditions related to being overweight, which may include diabetes and hypertension.

In addition to being one of the key factors related to heart health, maintaining an ideal weight puts a child at much better odds for having a healthy self image.

3. Physical Fitness Helps Lower Blood Pressure

In addition to healthy cholesterol levels, a low blood pressure is tied to having good heart health. Children and adults with lower blood pressures put less strain on their cardiovascular systems. Like many other aspects of heart health, low blood pressure does matter as early as the beginning stages of childhood. Regular physical activity helps lower blood pressure and keeps weight regulated, which is also tied to having lower blood pressure.

4. Children With Good Heart Health Often Become Adults With Good Heart Health

Children who get into the habit of engaging in an hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day are much more likely to remain physically fit into adulthood. When children exercise frequently, they develop an enjoyment for a wide variety of physical activities and are less likely to view exercise as a chore as they get older.

This means that they are far more likely to benefit from exercise as they get older in many of the same ways that they do as children. A lifetime of eating well and exercising regularly greatly decreases odds of suffering from serious and even fatal diseases like heart disease.

5. Exercise Increases Endurance

When a child regularly engages in cardiovascular exercise, they build endurance, which allows them to continue exercising for longer intervals. This endurance is indicative of a healthy heart that is capable of supporting a child through increasingly longer and more difficult exercises.

In short, children who receive adequate levels of cardiovascular exercise generally become better athletes, which can yield a number of benefits that are mental as well as physical. Regular activity in young chidden puts them at much greater odds for becoming athletes and team players as adolescents and young adults. The benefits of these activities may include higher confidence and better grades as well as better leadership skills.

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

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