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Love your heart, and your kids PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor

February is most popular for Valentine’s Day with decorative hearts and events centering around those we love.
But, did you also know that February is also becoming more well-known as Heart Health Month?
It’s interesting that as we age, we seem to become more concerned about our health and living healthier lifestyles. That’s just human nature, I guess. When we’re young, we think we’ll live forever, despite our lifestyles.
But, there is growing concern among health professionals about young people and their heart health.
There are multiple studies out there, and a lot of them are coming to the same conclusions—a considerable number of school-age children already have risk factors that are predictive of heart disease in adults, including high blood pressure, high body mass index and high cholesterol.
In this country, more of our children, like its adults, are overweight. A lot of the contributors to being overweight as we age are now affecting our kids today, such as sedimentary lifestyles (watching TV instead of being outside playing) and a poor diet high in fat.
Not only as adults do we need to watch our diet and exercise more, it now appears we need to be more serious in encouraging that in our kids, too.    
Unfortunately, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
One study found that children whose parents modeled undesirable eating habits were more likely to be overweight. And, children with high cholesterol are also more likely to have siblings and parents with high cholesterol.
But there is good news, along with the bad,
As with adults, children who ate four or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day had smaller increases in blood pressure. Proven higher levels of childhood activity meant lower levels of body fat.
So, our example as adults is an important factor in yet another area of our children’s lives.
Do yourself, your children and other youngsters important in your life a lifelong favor. Treat your heart well with a healthier lifestyle. Your kids will also be the beneficiaries!