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A Head Start to a Healthy Heart

Heart disease prevention starts with making healthy lifestyle choices and managing health conditions. While adults are most at-risk for cardiovascular disease, the habits we form at the earliest stages of our lives will best determine our health outcomes as adults. In honor of American Heart Month, Hip Hop Public Health has a few tips to share on what we can do to equip future generations to live cardio-friendly lives.

Get Moving

Kids need to be active for at least an hour a day. Admittedly, the cold weather makes it difficult for children to get outside, but there are plenty of fun ways to stay active indoors. For instance, try dancing! It’s a great full body exercise (and it’s also good for the soul). Remember, it does not need to be an intense workout session. You can break-up 60 minutes into shorter increments, something we like to call H.Y.P.E. Breaks. Check out the video to see how it’s done.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

It is important we teach kids how to eat healthy, as it can reduce their risk of heart disease in the future. That’s why we created GO, SLOW, WHOA Foods, a fun animated music video that teaches kids about calorie intake and healthy eating choices. We also have Hip Hop H.E.A.L.S., a series of fun interactive hip hop songs, videos and games that promote a healthy understanding of food and encourages a balance between food consumption and physical activity. Check out the music video featuring the Hip Hop MD and our founder, Dr. Olajide Williams, Artie Green, Easy AD of the Cold Crush Brothers and the students of Brooklyn’s PS 131!

Act F.A.S.T.

A stroke can act fast, but so can children. Kids can easily learn the warning signs and step in to call for help. Our Hip Hop Stroke program uses musical cartoons to teach kids to act F.A.S.T. when they spot signs of a stroke. Nearly 60% of children who participated in the program now have optimal stroke knowledge (compared to 2% before the program) and 24% of them retained the information even after three months. Moreover, not only were the kids able to identify stroke symptoms but they went on to teach their parents as well. The research from our program, led by our founder Dr. Olaijide Williams was recently featured in the American Heart Association’s Stroke Journal