Developing a Healthy Heart

By Conor Mooney

January 24, 2014 Updated Jan 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Leah Miller from UHS came by to talk about children developing healthy habits.

According to UHS:

It is important to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors in children because these behaviors become habits and a way of life. If you adopt these habits early in life, they can follow you through adulthood and translate into healthy adults.

Easy ways that you can make everyday changes is by picking one or two healthy habits to focus on. Once you have mastered them you can try a few more.

-Nutrition: Certainly we want to focus on increasing fruits and veggies with a focus on more veggies than fruits. We also want to watch portion sizes and be familiar with nutrition labels.

Research shows us that less time spend in front of screens (including computers, ipads/ipods, and videogames) is better for our health. It is recommended that we do not spend more than 2 hours per day on these devices.

-Exercise: Exercise is very important to health. Children between 2-18 need to have at least 60 min of physical activity EVERY day. This does not have to be done all at one time. You can break up activity into 2-30 min sessions, or 4-15 min sessions. You can also include heavy housework or chores such as raking leaves or shoveling snow. Remember that we do want to work hard enough to have your heart beat faster, breathe hard, and get sweaty.

-UHS offers several free programs for families such as the "Taking Small Steps" program which is a program that rewards children with a charm for recording their healthy behaviors. We also have a 12 week Stay Healthy Kids club for parents and children that encourages healthy lifestyle changes.