The heart is one of the most important muscles in our body. It is at the centre of our entire cardiovascular system. The heart is responsible for circulating blood and oxygen around the body along with the help of blood vessels. Without it, cells in the body would have no oxygen and our organs would have no nutrients.
Essentially, the heart ensures that our bodies never stops working. Helping kids understand the heart’s functions and how they should take care of it can help ensure that they have healthy and exciting lives.
They can start by exercising regularly and eating balanced meals. Engaging in exercise for the recommended 30 minutes per day, strengthens the heart since it is a muscle, and eating balanced meals safeguards the heart and vessels from receiving excessive fats and oils that can slow down the regular flow of blood. Eating vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds every day can improve heart health.
They can check the health of their heart by listening to the heart beat. This sound is a result of the heart contracting to send blood and oxygen around the body. It can be heard all day and all night. Doctors use stethoscopes to examine the health of the heart, they listen to the intensity of the beat and its rhythm.
They can also check their heart health by taking note of their pulse. The pulse is a small beat that can be felt from large blood vessels beneath the skin. They can find the pulse by lightly pressing the skin at the inside of their wrist just below the thumb or on the side of their neck. Once they’ve found that small beat, they’ve found the pulse. When you are at rest your pulse is around 70 to 100 beats per minute, but when you are playing and exercising the beats per minute are sure to increase.
Encourage them to exercise and eat healthy because their bodies have one heart with a huge responsibility. They should treat this heart with love for all that it does to keep them going. A healthy heart prepares them for the adventures of life !
Below are some activities that you can do with your child, so that they can understand the functions of their heart and how to strengthen it. They can be printed or used in your favourite art or drawing app.