February is American Heart Month. It is very important for me to cultivate habits for my family to support healthy hearts. Habits don't have to bring you down. There are fun and creative ways to train up your kids (and re-train yourself) to care for the body you've been given.

Building heart healthy habits can be fun and easy with a few simple tips to teach your kids:

 

1. Get Moving

The heart is a muscle. The more you make it work, the stronger it gets. Sadly, our modern day-to-day schedules involve a lot of sitting. That doesn't help cultivating a healthy heart.

Getting moving doesn't necessarily mean join a team sport. There are so many ways for kids to cultivate an active lifestyle even when you primarily stay home! Here are some simple options:

  • Ride a bike
  • Jump rope
  • Play tag in the front yard
  • Play four square on the driveway
  • Climb a tree
  • Play Just Dance on the Wii
  • Have a dance party
  • Ride a rip stick
  • Walk to the park

The best way for kids to learn these heart healthy habits is to see their parents doing the same thing. This is a challenge for me because most of my work involves sitting. However, I've been getting up and going with my husband and two older kids to the city rec center to get my exercise in three times a week. We go early in the morning, and somehow it invigorates me which enables me to stay more active throughout the day. I love it.

But exercise is not enough to maintain a healthy heart.

2. Eat The Rainbow - Purple is Power

Have you ever wondered why there are so many beautiful different colors of fruits and vegetables, yet our kids are drawn to eating monochromatic meals? The variety of colors offer so many different nutrients that our bodies desperately need to stay healthy.

Purple is a powerful color for healthy hearts. The concord grape, for example offers polyphenols which work wonders for the heart, such as: keeping arteries flexible, providing antioxidants that prevent the bad cholesterol from clogging the arteries, and supporting the immune system. This has been proven by over 20 years of research.

Welch's 100% Grape Juice

Adding variety to your diet doesn't mean forcing your kids to instantly eat all of those fruits and vegetables that they don't fully appreciate yet. Welch's 100% Grape Juice is an excellent option for adding purple to your diet and supporting a healthy heart. Simple substitutes can be an easy way to make healthy diets a habit when kids are young!

The concord grape benefits of Welch's 100% Grape Juice extends to adults as well. Due to the sweetness of the concord grapes, there is no sugar added, making this 100% fruit juice nature's way of blessing your sweet heart!

3. Know How Your Body Works

Knowledge is power. Equipping your kids with the knowledge of how their body works can be a powerful way to encourage them to exercise and eat well to take care of their heart. Simple facts about how muscles work and the impact of foods on those muscles can really enlighten young minds.

When your child learns how vital their heart is, and that a few simple habits can help the heart to be more efficient, they can enjoy taking care of their heart.

I want my kids to do better than I have, but it's still not too late for me to be taking the same advice I'm giving my kids!

4. Enjoy Life With a Healthy Heart

Stress does not promote healthy heart function. While there is a lot for kids to worry about, helping them find positive ways to deal with their emotions and stress can be an effective way to build a healthy heart habit that they will benefit from for the rest of their life.

Life is too short to make such a big deal of the little things. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Take a deep breath, go for a walk, or enjoy a glass of Welch's 100% Grape Juice, and let your troubles melt away while taking care of your heart!

5. Keep It Going All Year Long

It's easy at the start of a new year to kick off healthy habits strong with new year's resolutions. Often times, the seasons change and resolve wanes. Another challenge can be finding healthy foods all year long. Hope is not lost. While concord grapes are an excellent option for packing purple into your diet, they are only available in your produce section for a short time every year, Welch's 100% Grape Juice bottles their nutritional goodness to be a healthy option all year long.

 

Drink a glass with breakfast or add it with your snack, and get the health benefits coming all year long. Starting early to build heart healthy habits is the best way to ensure a strong heart that will support a bright future.

Learn more about how concord grapes can help promote a healthy heart.

How do you encourage heart healthy habits?

3 Comments

  1. Rajee Pandi on February 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Love your idea

  2. Aaron C. on March 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I never knew grape juice was good for your heart. I always thought it was more potent in wine. Thanks for writing.

  3. LNweaver on August 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I’ll have to make sure to engage in more aerobic activities, like bike riding or walking like you mentioned. I’ve been getting pretty sedentary because of my desk job. Heart health gets more important as you get older; it’s probably about time I see a specialist to appraise how heart healthy I am.

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