Throughout this month, we will be having conversations with Advent students about heart health, and we want to encourage you to continue those conversations at home showing your children how you can all keep your hearts healthy together. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are related to heart disease. The good news is that heart disease can be prevented by taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are some steps to take as a family to keep a healthy heart:

Exercise together-Start by taking a 15-minute walk or bike ride after dinner a few nights a week. Show your children that it is important to you that you are active and that they are too!

Increase healthy meals– Strive to cook meals with more vegetables, less red meats, and more lean forms of protein are simple ways to improve heart health and foster conversations about nutrition.

Cut back on the salt– On average, Americans consume more than 3,400 mg of sodium each day, compared to the recommended amount of 2,300 mg, with the ideal amount being 1,500 mg per day. The majority of sodium that we ingest is from processed, prepackaged and restaurant foods. Besides cutting back on your sodium intake, try using spices to add flavor to your food instead of adding salt. Click here for more information on why sodium intake matters!

Stay at a healthy weight– Have conversations with your children about how being healthy makes you strong. Being overweight and/or obese is a risk factor for heart disease. If we can help children learn that it is healthy to maintain a normal weight, then they will hopefully carry that into adulthood. Listed below are some links to the CDC website that you may find helpful.

Click here for a link that will help you assess your weight.

Click here for a link that will help you assess your child’s weight.

Click here for more information regarding heart health.

Deanette Johnson