Tags: Exercise | for | Kids | With | Bad | Hearts

Exercise OK for Kids With Bad Hearts

Monday, 05 December 2005 12:00 AM

Children with heart defects can boost their heart function with moderate exercise, according to new research that flies in the face of conventional medical thinking.

"With the approval of a pediatric cardiologist, and after careful exercise testing, exercise is generally safe and tolerable for children with congenital heart defects," says Dr. Jonathan Rhodes, a cardiologist at Children's Hospital in Boston.

In the study headed by Dr. Rhodes, 15 of 16 children ages 8 to 17 who underwent a three-month rehabilitation program showed significant gains in heart function.

"These kids haven't exercised much. They've been told by coaches, doctors, parents and teachers, 'Oh, you can't exercise,"' Rhodes said. "Cardiac rehabilitation is not a component of most pediatric cardiology programs."

The study's exercise program involved twice-weekly, hourlong sessions of stretching, and aerobics such as dance, calisthenics, kickboxing, and jumping rope.

When the program was finished, 15 of the 16 children had significantly improved heart function, with the organ pumping more blood with each beat, delivering more oxygen.

The study was published in the December issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Children with heart defects can boost their heart function with moderate exercise, according to new research that flies in the face of conventional medical thinking. "With the approval of a pediatric cardiologist, and after careful exercise testing, exercise is...
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Monday, 05 December 2005 12:00 AM
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