New research points to the benefits of early physical activity. As it turns out, and not surprisingly so, getting active equaled better health outcomes.

The study, published in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal Pediatrics, looked at the effects of moderate to vigorous activity on 418 children age three through five as they aged. Researchers assessed the children’s activity level annually for three years.

photo: Agung Pandit Wiguna via Pexels

Along with evaluating total physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the researchers assessed specific cardiovascular health indicators. In this case, they looked at cardiovascular fitness, resting arterial stiffness and seated systolic blood pressure. And don’t worry—there’s no need to have an MD after your name to understand the study results. Overall, the researchers found that moderate to vigorous exercise had important heart health benefits.

So what does this mean for your child? To start with, don’t wait to get them active. Based on this study’s data early physical activity is an important part of cardiovascular health. While the study doesn’t say whether the heart health benefits remain into adulthood, upping your kiddo’s physical activity quotient from on-the-couch to running around the yard certainly couldn’t hurt.

—Erica Loop

 

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