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My sister, Rachel, is a clinical exercise physiologist, a certified ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), and worked in Cardiac Rehab prior to becoming a mom of four little ones.
She will commonly be my guest poster in all things Health and Wellness!
February focus on health – HEART health!! It is a great month to focus on your heart and talk a little bit about heart health with the kids! We have little ones at our house so we don’t get too into depth, but just paint a general picture of what the heart is and what it does.
The heart is an amazing little muscle about the size of your fist. It is the only muscles that never gets to rest! The heart is constantly beating in order to pump blood through the body to deliver oxygen to all of our other body parts. It is essential to keep it up and running and in great shape.
How do we keep the heart healthy and happy?
- Healthy Food
- Living a low stress/joy-filled life
To keep it simple you can focus on little changes in your everyday life that have positive effects on your heart health.
To have a little fun with this concept we decided to have a snack cupboard raid! In our house we talked about foods that give us good energy and nutrients and foods that taste good, but do not offer much help for our hard-working heart. Not all snacks are created equal! Some red flags we were hunting for in our cupboard were: high amounts of unhealthy fats, high amounts of sugar, and high amounts of salt. We have little kids and tried to keep it simple. Our goal was to find three unhealthy items and three heart healthy items. Game on!
What we found:
- Tostitos – always a fan favorite but high in salt and unhealthy fats
- Gummies – mom’s favorite form of bribery but basically a little bag of sugar
- Cheez-its – an easy snack to grab, but offers little nutritional value
- Lara bars – some sugar, but it is from fruit and the fat is from nuts!
- Bare Apple Chips – a crunchy treat that contains only one ingredient, apples!
- Pistachios- some salt but they also have protein, fiber and healthy fat – plus it takes the kids a while to open them all up!
For the month of February, in honor of our hard-working hearts we are going to put away the Tostitos, gummies and Cheez-its. And try to stick with things that help our heart do its job! Join us in this heart healthy snack raid!
Bonus challenge – make your own heart healthy trail mix with nuts, dried berries and dark chocolate (because we’re all about moderation here)!
If you’re looking for a read aloud to supplement this heart health activity, check out Hear Your Heart!
For a similar heart health post and some fun Valentine exercises for the kids , head over here.
In what ways do you encourage and teach heart health within your own family?
Share with us in the comments below!
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