Kids don’t typically have to worry about their heart health, but it’s never too early to teach your kiddos how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Starting now will help reduce the chance they’ll have to worry about cardiovascular disease later.
Since Gordmans has partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) during the month of April, we thought we’d share some tips on how to get your kids and teens pumped for heart health!
- Get creative with screen time. These days, our kids and teens are seldom without a screen in their face. Kids are spending endless hours watching TV and playing games on their tablets. Teens seem to have their thumbs permanently attached to their phones. Even homework is being done on laptops more often than ever. While you may not be able to drag the kids away from their screens, there are creative ways to use screens to get them moving. Scavenger hunt apps are great for getting your kids out and about, tracking down clues and getting a lot of walking in. Or use that video game console for games like Let’s Dance that gets them moving to songs they actually like. Both of these activities are pretty fun for parents, too. Just sayin’.
- Make them eat their veggies. Yes, it’s a challenge to get your kids to eat healthy. In fact, “challenge” may be an understatement with some kids. But if you can get them to make heart-healthy food choices now, those choices will become habits later, which will decrease their chance of developing heart disease. Of course they can have an occasional Pop Tart or fried chicken nuggets, but try to make the bulk of their food vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you don’t already know, there are several clever ways to sneak veggies into their food. Lean meats and low-fat foods also help to build healthy cardiovascular systems.
- Get them moving. According to the CDC, kids and teens need 60 minutes of exercise every day. Yep, an hour EVERY DAY. It’s likely they’re getting some physical activity at school, but if you can get them to participate in an afterschool sport, dance class or even just walking the dog, even better.
- Help them get their Z’s. Even though they’d probably disagree, kids need their sleep. Having a regular sleep schedule helps regulate metabolism and getting enough sleep is associated with a healthier weight. It’s recommended that kids of all ages get at least 10 hours of sleep a night, and that screen time and eating should be avoided up to three hours before bedtime.
- Stay smart. The American Heart Association websiteregularly shares the latest news and tips on heart health, and has healthy recipes even a kid could love.
You can also get the kids pumped for heart health by donating to the American Heart Association in our stores and encouraging them to donate, too! Get your teens pumped by asking them to post a pic to their Instagram with #GetPumpedforHeartHealth. We’ll donate $1 for every post with our hashtag to the AHA, up to $10,000.