Have you thought about what the saying “Monkey see, monkey do” really means? When it comes to children, surrounding them with good role models is a fast way to ensure they develop good habits and behaviors. Children mimic the adults around them more easily than listening to requests or taking direction. When it comes to healthy heart habits, it’s a no brainer: Whatever we do to be heart-healthy is more than likely what our children and grandchildren will copy. Be a good role model and get them on the Active Wellness track as early as possible.
Even though heredity is an important risk factor for heart disease, experts agree that healthy eating habits from an early age can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular issues, diabetes and other serious ailments later in life. American children and adolescents average more saturated fat in their diets than their counterparts in other developed nations.1
Although children and teens usually don’t show the symptoms of heart disease, the silent buildup of fatty deposits can start in childhood and can have a serious impact on their adult life. “The kinds of heart problems which relate to the problems adults have don’t really manifest themselves until [the children are] much older,” says Ronald Kanter, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, division of pediatric cardiology, at Duke University. “But the seeds of those problems are sown in childhood and adolescence.”2
Fortunately, parents can influence their children’s behavior by encouraging healthy eating and regular aerobic exercise, as well as discouraging smoking. Dr. Kanter says he has noticed a gradual decline in the activity levels of the children and adolescents he treats and an increase in the prevalence of obesity. “It’s a clear epidemic,” he says. “There is now definite evidence that obesity is a risk factor for coronary events later in life.”3
We can help prevent obesity in our kids by encouraging them to be active in school and at home. Give them time to play outdoors each day. The United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines recommend 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity for children most days of the week.4
To be good role models, we need to set time limits for TV watching, computer use (other than for work) and handheld computer games. On the other hand, we can set a good example by exercising regularly and making it a family routine—walking, biking, swimming, dancing to favorite music, etc. are all activities that are heart-healthy and also can bring us closer to our kids by sharing the gift of time. And to help them get some fruit and veggies into their diets, start them off early with Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix—its chocolate flavor will make it an easy habit to develop!
There are a few days left to give the precious gift of heart health with the V-Day Promo Pack from Nikken! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a dynamic duo for the heart. And, if you hurry, you will also receive the value-added Kenko® Heart Set, while supplies last. The V-Day Promo Pack is available through February 28th.