Here’s something for parents to get a hold of; something which might create a bit of fiction in the home but which will benefit the children and the family cat.
There’s a study out at the moment published in The Times conducted at the University of Exeter which came to the conclusion that if parents insist that their children carry out ‘light activities’ in the evening rather than sit around the television or scrolling through mobile phone messages, they will reduce the risk of future heart attacks and strokes when they become adults!
Like I said, it takes a bit of digesting but I think it’s a good one and I’m thinking of the cat mainly! There is an added benefit: kids will learn about taking on responsibilities which they’ve got to do when they are older. Learn now.
The researchers tracked 792 children in Bristol, UK from the age of 11 until there were 24. They measured their daily levels of activity and the amount of time that they spent sitting down.
They compared this data with their cholesterol levels. It’s known that high cholesterol can clog up the arteries which can lead to a greater predisposition to heart disease in adults and this can lead to premature death.
Heart health in young people was found to improve when within each day they spent several hours of “light physical activity”. As mentioned above, this should, I think, include cleaning the cat litter, feeding the cat and playing with the cat (for at least 15 minutes) if there is a family cat to look after. But it would also include, where appropriate, walking to and from school.
The issue once again is about an active life which is healthier because the human body demands that it is used versus a sedentary life which is what a student and a parent would like to do in the evening (subject to completing any homework). No doubt they feel that they deserve it but I’m afraid if you want to maximise your health going forward you have to exercise the maximum amount of self-discipline that you can muster.
The report said that an extremely sedentary childhood was found to increase cholesterol levels by about two thirds which if you are a student, you will know is 66%!
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Interestingly, the researchers concluded that in terms of safeguarding the heart of children going forward regular light activities were more important than vigorous exercise.
The lead author, Dr. Andrew Agbaje, said: “Families could incorporate light physical activity into their daily lives. Parents should lead by example and kids are motivated to do likewise. Light physical activity appears to be the antidote to the catastrophic effect of sedentary time in the young population.”
Go for it guys and girls. Start young and do it for the rest of your lives. In the UK and USA there are too many people who live unhealthily and suffer as a consequence when they are elderly. You have got to look to the future.
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