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A new study in England confirms again what health experts have been saying for years: children need at least one hour of physical activity a day to improve their heart health, and help them to be healthy adults.

The research revealed that children who take part in moderate to vigorous physical activity improved their choloesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight, all key factors for long-term health.Ulf Ekelund, who wrote the study, says that the results show that getting daily exercise is a more important issue than how sedentary a child may be in non-exercise hours.

"We demonstrated that higher levels of physical activity of at least moderate intensity -- equal to brisk walking -- are associated with [improving] many cardiovascular disease risk factors, regardless of the amount of time these children spent sedentary."

Ekelund pointed out that children in the most active groups had a smalerl waist than those in the least active ones. A larger waist in adulthood can lead to up to a 15% increased risk of premature death.

Of course, a more active lifesrtyle isn't just for kids. Samantha Heller, an exercise physiologist in Connecticut, notes that "[e]xercise, in whatever form it takes, is fantastic for children and teens - and adults."

[HealthDay.com, via Yahoo!News.com]