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How can parents improve their children's cardiovascular health?

Get the kids up off the couch! Parents can improve children's cardiovascular health by encouraging them to be active. Restricting the use of entertainment media (TV, video games, computers, Ipads, etc.) will hopefully give children the time and incentive to go out and have fun engaging in outdoor activities. If the weather doesn't permit outdoor play, encourage your children to play games at home that get their heart rate up like "Twister", musical chairs, dancing along to their favorite tunes or playing interactive video games (such as Wii Fit).

Providing children with lots of fresh vegetables will also help improve their cardiovascular health.
Changing unhealthy habits can make a difference. A research study found that children who ate fruits and vegetables once a day had healthier arteries as young adults than children who consumed fruits and vegetables less than twice a month. The lower consumption was linked to stiffening arteries, a red flag for future heart problems.

Parents concerned about their children’s heart health should set a good example by serving whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Regular exercise that includes aerobic activities such as running, cycling or swimming is also good for the heart.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.