Teaching Children About Heart Health
By Brandi Swieter
Kids often learn by example, watching their parents, teachers, and other adult advocates to see what they do and following their lead. That is why it is so important for grown-ups to teach children all about heart health and show them ways to improve it. By eating right and exercising as parents, kids will be inclined to follow suit.
Following a Lesson Plan
The American Heart Association offers lesson plans that teachers and parents alike may follow. These guides help adults best discuss the importance of heart health with kids. Healthier students tend to perform better in school, making it even more important for children to have a desire to remain healthy and happy. Through meal planning worksheets, risk factor cards, and a physical activity log, adults can help children see how best to keep their hearts in healthy condition.
Planning Family Fitness Time
Teaching by example is the way to go, and that includes exercising. Exercise is highly necessary for heart health; blood needs to flow so it can get the heart pumping and working as it should. Planning some family fitness time is a great way to show kids how exercise can be fun. Go for a walk through the park together, toss a ball around, throw a frisbee, or play a game of tag. Any activity that gets people up and moving will be benefiting the heart, mind, and body.
Make Meals Together
Getting kids involved in the kitchen is another great way to teach them about their hearts and why it’s necessary to eat the right foods to keep it healthy. Vegetables and fruits contain beneficial vitamins and nutrients that aid in heart health. Having kids help to prepare meals with these ingredients will get them interested in eating them, ensuring they’re adding to their ways of improving their cardiovascular system.
Feeling a Pulse
One easy way to get kids inquiring about their hearts is to have them feel their pulse. It may sound silly, but having them feel their pulse before any activity, and then again after jumping in place, will show them how exercise gets their hearts beating quickly. This means their heart is working and pumping as it should, allowing the blood to flow through the body and keep things working as necessary.
Heart health is highly important, especially with the rise of heart disease seen over the years. Healthy habits start at a young age, making it necessary for parents and teachers to start talking to their kids right away about the best ways to keep the cardiovascular system in optimal condition through eating right, exercise, and more.
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