When it comes to exercise for children with heart problems, the guidelines are different than the ones used for adults, says the chief of the Children’s Heart Institute.
That’s because the pediatric heart center’s guidelines are tailored to children who are older and need special treatment.
Here’s what you need to know.
How much exercise should I do?
The guidelines say the recommended amount of exercise for a child with a heart condition is “no more than one hour per day, with a goal of three hours daily for children of any age.”
But that may not be enough for all children.
For some children, it’s too much, according to the guidelines.
“There is a significant risk of adverse outcomes,” says Dr. Jennifer McBride, chief medical officer for the Heart Institute, the nonprofit that created the guidelines and is the author of a recent report on heart health for parents.
“Kids with high risk for cardiovascular disease, for example, are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
There’s also a very high risk of having an elevated risk of other cardiac conditions.”
There are also health risks associated with the exercises, including the risk of back pain, dizziness and fatigue, McBride says.
But the guidelines don’t specify exactly how much exercise children need.
That means you may need to ask a child’s parent, doctor or other health care provider to work with you to set the amount of physical activity the child should do. 2.
How long should I exercise?
If you’re worried about your child’s heart health, “you should always talk to your pediatrician about the best time to exercise, your child should have an appropriate exercise schedule, and your child and you should follow the recommendations of the guidelines,” says McBride.
“The most important thing to do is to follow the guidelines.”
For example, if your child has a history of being overweight, your pediatricians may recommend a weight loss program that may be different from what your child is currently doing.
You may also want to talk with your child about taking a walk to a park or an indoor swimming pool instead of sitting in the car.
But if you have concerns about your toddler’s heart, you should talk to the child’s pediatrician, says McBride.
Can I stop exercising?
The Heart Institute guidelines say it’s important to talk to children about exercise, but they also recommend keeping up regular exercise.
“It’s important that kids understand that there are some risk factors and benefits of exercise,” McBride said.
“If you feel that you’re doing too much exercise, talk to a doctor to find out what’s right for you.”
What happens when I stop doing exercise?
In the meantime, your children may need additional exercise, including outdoor play, sports, sports at home, or other activities they may enjoy.
For example: If you have an older child, you may want to stop using the elliptical machine, or stop doing all your child needs to do in one sitting.
“We have to balance that with a child who needs that exercise,” says McGowan.
“But it can be challenging to do.”
What if my child has an abnormal heart or other heart condition?
“If your child does have a heart problem and it’s affecting the heart rhythm, then you need additional intervention,” McGowan says.
“You can stop exercising, but the goal is to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit from it.
That could mean stopping exercising in a designated activity, taking a short walk, or taking a longer walk.”
You may need other interventions, including a blood test.
“Sometimes children with cardiac disease can get angiograms, which are very invasive tests to get a good sense of the heart,” McGowen says.
If a blood work test shows no abnormal heart rhythms, the pediatric cardiologist can prescribe a drug called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), which may help ease symptoms.
What do I do if my heart attack or heart disease affects my ability to exercise?
“There are some things that can be done to help your child get into the right exercise plan,” McBrides says.
For instance, if a child has difficulty getting up and walking to the park, McBrases recommends taking him or her to a playground or a park, or even an indoor pool.
“A child with heart disease who can’t get up to play outside may need a special activity,” Mcbrides says, like doing push-ups, sit-ups or soccer with other kids.
“And a child may have to take a short break in between exercise sessions, like walking to a different spot or walking to work,” McBRides says — though some children can get up and do other activities.
“That’s a really important thing, especially for children who have cardiac disease.”