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Children 10–18 years

Active young adults reap cardiovascular benefits later in life

Those who enter adulthood with a good level of cardiovascular fitness have been found to be least likely to develop cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and even metabolic syndrome later in life.

It’s never too late

Even those who begin a little later in life are still able to reduce some of their health risks as reported by a recent American study.

Low fitness levels are an easily modified risk factor of cardiovascular disease and the earlier exercise is incorporated into daily living, the greater the possibility that an active lifestyle is maintained throughout life, optimising health.

Regular physical exercise is the best way to improve fitness, and the more enjoyment that is gained from such activities, the greater the chance of lifestyle modification.

Children who have been raised to play sport and enjoy physical activity are most likely to develop a lifelong appreciation of exercise and as a result enjoy better health.
Enjoyment is a key factor in ensuring a healthy active lifestyle is sustained, provided the opportunity to enjoy leisure activities is always there.

Ways to encourage physical activity

(for both young and the young at heart!)

  • Expose children to various sporting activities from an early age
  • Make exercise/leisure activities fun and pressure free
  • Make use of the lovely parks and recreational reserves/centres that we have
  • Discover Christchurch or your local area by walking a different walkway each weekend
  • Incorporate some ball or racquet sports into your weekend activities
  • Make use of the many aquatic facilities on those hot summer days

Eating well, so that you have enough energy to make the most of exercise, is also important to good health so contact Lea for a wellness check and get fitter now.

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

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