“This post was sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Children’s as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
I was born with two heart murmurs- a ventricular septal defect and an atrial septal defect. Now, while this may sound scary what it really means is that I was born with two holes in my heart. The atrial region is the upper region and the ventricular is the lower region.
What it meant for my parents was an extra day in the hospital and then a trip to Houston to see a specialist.
The holes closed on their own though and I’ve had no ill effects.
That was over 30 years ago and I’m thankful to have all of that behind me without having to need major treatment or lifelong monitoring. However, if something like that were to happen now with one of my kids. Or if it were to be found that they might have heart issues; I’d know where to turn.
Photo cred: Russell Lee Photos
The Cleveland Clinic Children’s has the largest team of pediatric heart surgeons and cardiologists in Northern Ohio and are among the most highly trained and experienced in the world. Featuring the world-renowned Heart & Vascular Institute, young patients can access state of the art technology and expertise. And for children who may have life-long heart problems, this is huge in supporting them.
Heart health matters for all ages.
And from birth to adulthood, the Cleveland Clinic Children’s is equipped to help individuals with cardiology needs.
Photo cred: Russell Lee Photos
And while they are the experts and the best, here’s hoping that you won’t need their services anytime soon.
If you’re looking for ways to encourage heart-healthy habits in your kids, it all begins with getting up and moving. Seems so simple, right? But it really is! Just getting up and being active will go a long way with your child’s heart health and overall health.
From the time that your children are toddlers until they reach adulthood, they spend a lot of time strapped into a car safety seat or sitting in front of a monitor. You want your kids to exercise more, but it’s sometimes tough to get them motivated.
Children look up to and emulate their parents, so why not exercise right alongside your kids?
The benefits of getting active with your children are many.
Heart health goes up, so do calorie and fat burning, and your family’s risk of getting sick goes down. You spend valuable time together, which can strengthen the bond of your relationship.
You physically and mentally benefit from the rewards that exercise offers, and getting active together limits both you and your child’s time in front of an energy-sapping smartphone, television or computer screen.
Try the following 5 ideas to get you exercising with your children instead of simply preaching to them about staying active. You may find the rewards go far beyond physical fitness.
Schedule before or after meal walks
A one mile walk burns roughly 100 calories.
But you don’t have to take your kids walking a mile to benefit from this time together. Walk around your neighborhood before or after breakfast or dinner. Point out and comment on the landmarks, pets, house colors, trees or other objects along the way, making the walk memorable and enjoyable.
Schedule “pick your own” sports days
This can also be a nighttime activity.
Pick one day a week that you allow your child to choose a favorite sport or physical activity to enjoy. Get the whole family involved. Each week, allow a different family member to choose a favored exercise routine or sport.
Go camping, fishing, hiking
Exposure to the sun, even just 10 minutes, delivers healthy levels of vitamin D and vitamin K.
Getting into the great outdoors minimizes sedentary time spent on a cell phone, tablet or laptop. Fishing, camping and hiking all teach teamwork, planning, preparation and survival skills. You and your children are exercising without even knowing it when you take a hike, spend the weekend camping or enjoy a fishing trip.
Form your own biker club
Bikes are relatively inexpensive, affordable for just about every budget level.
Most major cities offer free bikes to those that cannot afford them, and bike rental locations are common as well. Make a biking day, where the family rides together. To keep boredom from setting in, choose a different venue for your biking experience each time.
Go dog walking or spotting
Take the dog for a walk.
This can be a family activity, with a different person rewarded with holding the leash each time. Don’t have a dog? Go dog spotting (or cat spotting, for that matter). The idea is to make walking, therefore exercising, the secondary objective, selling your child on a fun activity rather than the walking which is required to accomplish it.
Those are just a few ideas to get you started but I’m sure that you can come up with so many others. And if your family should need the services at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s, help is only a phone-call away: 216-444-KIDS