Friday, February 5, 2010

Heart Smarts for Healthy Heartbeats

February is "National Heart Month." Did you know that your heart is a muscle the size of your fist and that you need to exercise it just like you would exercise your arms or legs? Exercise helps keep your heart muscle strong so that it can keep pumping blood to and from all your body parts. Every day, try to be active for at least an hour, which can be broken into 15-minute blocks. Here are some fun activities that give your heart a workout, whether you're at recess, at home, or at a park:
  • Play tag
  • Do push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks
  • Have a relay race
  • Play on the jungle gym
  • Play soccer
  • Ride your bike
  • Jump rope
  • Make up your own obstacle course
  • Play kickball
  • Play basketball
  • Go swimming
In addition to daily exercise, it's also important to eat healthy grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein so that your body gets all of the essential nutrients. Try to avoid unhealthy fat found in lots of junk food and typical fast food.

Don't forget to drink water! Drinking water regularly (6 to 8 glasses or 1.5 to 2 liters per day) keeps your heart working properly and keeps your energy up.

Learn more about keeping your heart healthy by visiting The American Heart Association's website or or by visiting our "On the Path to Good Health" display, which is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Library Foundation and Friends. Come to the Youth Services desk for help finding books or DVDs related to heart health.

Posted by wk