Don’t Break Your Child’s Heart

broken heart

As parents we are so careful not to do anything to cause deep emotional pain to our children. We protect them, we love them and we guard them from as many forms of anguish and distress as we can for as long as we can.

We want to ensure no one causes our children lasting pain.  And least of all we don’t want to be the ones to break our children’s heart.

So, as careful as we are on the figurative sense, we need to be equally concerned about whether or not we are inadvertently contributing to the literal breaking of our children’s hearts.

Are we contributing to our children’s future struggle with heart disease?

Statistics suggest that we are. According to data from 28 countries involving some 25 million kids between the ages of 9 and 17, children today take 90 seconds longer to run a mile than kids did 30 years ago.

Why is this a big deal, you might wonder? The big deal is that this generation of children is at risk for heart attacks and strokes at a greater rate than our generation.

Running speed is a simple proxy for aerobic fitness because it measures cardiovascular health and endurance, reasoned researchers at the University of South Australia. Aerobically fit adults are much less likely to have strokes are heart attacks, and aerobically fit children are much more likely to grow up to be aerobically fit adults. So, the conclusion is that more of our youth are headed toward health issues that could be prevented by them getting exercise now.

Sixty minutes of exercise is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children do daily. Yet, less than one-third of kids get that critical hour exercise needed.

Put down the Ipad, set aside the homework and pause the DVR and get your child outside to move. Ride bikes. Take a walk. Go to the park. Or, of course, head to JAG Gym where they will have so much fun, they won’t even realize that they are exercising.

Their future 45 year-old hearts will thank you…as will your future grandchildren.