Advertisement

If I was active when I was young, does that help my heart now?

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics
The benefits of physical activity aren’t stored over the years. People who are active in their youth but who become sedentary lose most of the benefits they accumulated years ago. In the Mediterranean region, people maintain the benefits of physical activity because they are active throughout their whole lives.
Carolyn  Thomas
Healthcare
While we can't stockpile early physical fitness to help ward off heart disease in later years, our attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity do form in childhood.
According to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Kanter at Duke University, "The seeds of heart problems are sown in childhood and adolescence. Those 'seeds' include obesity, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and high blood pressure. Fortunately, parents can influence their children's behavior by encouraging healthy eating and regular aerobic exercise, as well as discouraging smoking." 
And the American Heart Association offers these exercise guidelines for children ages 5 and older:
  • Provide at least 30 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity activities every day.
  • Provide a total of at least 60 minutes of vigorous physical activities most days a week to maintain heart and lung fitness.
  • Set strict limits for TV watching, computer use and play with handheld computer games. 

Continue Learning about Heart Health

Why Your Heart Loves Hershey's
Why Your Heart Loves Hershey's
Something about eating chocolate—it has such an instant feel-good effect. And it turns out there's a reason to feel good. Research suggests that spec...
Read More
What’s more important for heart health, exercise intensity or amount?
HealthCorpsHealthCorps
If you have to choose between a long stroll versus a shorter power walk, which is better for heart h...
More Answers
6 Ways to Protect Your Heart in Hot Weather
6 Ways to Protect Your Heart in Hot Weather6 Ways to Protect Your Heart in Hot Weather6 Ways to Protect Your Heart in Hot Weather6 Ways to Protect Your Heart in Hot Weather
Keep your ticker healthy when summer temperatures rise.
Start Slideshow
How Can I Stay Hydrated When on a Cleansing or Detox Diet?
How Can I Stay Hydrated When on a Cleansing or Detox Diet?

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.