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School is out and so is physical activity says the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Physical activity not only lowers risk of heart disease, it does wonders for a child's mood too!
Physical activity not only lowers risk of heart disease, it does wonders for a child's mood too!
Nathalie Blais

The pressure is on for parents of school-aged children to make arrangements for child care throughout the 11 weeks of summer holidays ahead.

June 21st, the first day of summer, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario released a report revealing the harsh realities parents face when it comes to making summer activity choices for the months of July and August.

Gone are the days of kids being able to hop on their bikes in the morning and come home before the streetlights come on. The typical household today is made of two working parents, requiring more effort to keep kids active says Sharon Prodovsky of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Marco DeBueno says the number of young adults with symptoms that put them at high risk for heart disease and stroke is escalating. "We are starting to see twenty and thirty year old adults with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes," DeBueno reveals in an interview with the Foundation. All of these are high risk factors for heart disease and strokes- and we are seeing it happen earlier and earlier,"reveals DeBueno in an brief interview.

It comes down to choice, and with ipads, laptops and portable gaming systems, the decision to hop on a bike or get a game of street hockey going almost seems too great an effort.

Colleen Hill, mother of two, suggests many children are not given the opportunity to be more physically active. “We want to establish healthy habits while they are young so that it will carry over into their adult years,” says Hill. “Every child has the right to grow up healthy, and there are, at times, barriers created”.

The Foundation survey, completed in May 2010, found that cash strapped parents of school aged kids prioritized finding a program that was safe, affordable and convenient over the importance of finding a program that promotes physical activity.

For more information:
Sharon Edwards
Heart and stroke foundation


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