Did you know that heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide? Protect the heart health of those you love most — your family — by getting everyone involved in some healthy changes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on heart health — from the effects of the virus itself to unhealthy lifestyle changes while sheltering at home, like poor eating habits and too little exercise.
With a little planning and participation by every member of the family, now’s a great time to ramp up your efforts for heart health.
6 Tips for Your Family’s Heart Health
Ready to do something proactive for the heart health of your family? There are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Identify free times for activityPick two 30-minute and two 60-minute time slots for family activity time each week. Spread out the time slots and commit to doing fun things together, like a bike ride or a game of soccer. It will get you all off the couch and provide quality family time.
Plan weekly menus and prep mealsPlan heart-healthy meals and nutritious, nonprocessed snacks at home. Prep foods in advance as much as you can, so healthy snacks are readily available and weeknight menus are fast and easy to stick with.
Simplify the family scheduleThe truth is: We can’t do it all. A nonstop lifestyle isn’t sustainable or healthy. Prioritize activities and stick with the things that matter — and let go of the rest. It will reduce stress for the whole family, and that’s good for the heart.
It’s about small steps, not giant leapsGetting and staying healthy is a journey. You and your family don’t have to do everything at once. Take small steps and keep moving forward.
Everyone do your partTreat your family like a team and encourage everyone to work together. With age-appropriate tasks, kids can help prepare those healthy meals and do active chores around the house. In the process, they learn good habits for a lifetime.
Live by exampleIf we want our kids to eat healthy and exercise, we need to model that behavior. Show your kids the way — and benefit from heart-healthy habits in the process.
We get it. Changing habits like this can be hard. Check out our tips for making healthier habits stick.
And for more information on our heart care services and care team, visit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Heart Institute.