To Your Health
September, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 09)
Keep Your Kids Cardio Fit
By Editorial Staff
You're probably already realized this unfortunate reality, but the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have made it abundantly clear: Kids don't get enough exercise anymore. Gone are the days of "releasing them into the wild" with a reminder to be back before dinner. Now it's technology, screen time and couch lazing in plentiful portions, all day – every day.
You also probably know why that's a disturbing trend (think obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc.), but you may not realize how much it will affect children when they become adults. In fact, research shows that fitness levels in youth predict fitness levels in adulthood, which means the path your children might currently be on (see above) might lead them in the wrong direction for life.
According to a new research analysis in JAMA Pediatrics that reviewed 55 studies involving more than 37,000 children and adolescents, cardiovascular fitness (or lack thereof) influenced the expression of various risk factors including body-mass index (BMI), cholesterol, insulin levels and cardiometabolic risk. When cardiovascular fitness changed (improved) over a one-year follow-up period, the risk factors also changed for the better, which the study authors note "were associated with lower risk of developing obesity and cardiometabolic disease later in life."
The bottom line, particularly in our current state of affairs: Get your kids moving! Every extra moment of exercise counts, not just for their short-term fitness (and sanity), but for their long-term heart health as well.