Canada: Energetic play in early childhood can keep heart healthy in later life

06 September 2019

Physical activity in children as young as three can prevent early risk indicators that lead to adult heart disease, research has found.

Scientists at McMaster University followed the activity levels of more than 400 three- to five-year-olds over three years and measured key markers of heart health: cardiovascular fitness, arterial stiffness and blood pressure.

The findings, which appeared in Pediatrics, also showed more intense activity was more beneficial.

Professor Brian Timmons, who supervised the research, said: ‘Children benefit the most from energetic play, which means getting out of breath by playing games such as tag. And the more, the better.’

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