Children in the United States today live a less healthy lifestyle than the generation before. In addition to weighing more, having higher blood pressure, and owning lower levels of heart-protective, high-density lipoproteins, many already show early signs of cardiovascular disease.
Healthful lifestyle training should begin in childhood to promote improved health later. The American Heart Association developed programs, including:Jump Rope for Heart, an educational fund-raising event, takes place each year in thousands of elementary schools across the nation. Funds raised benefit medical research and programs such as HeartPower! that help prevent heart disease and stroke. Hoops for Heart teaches basketball skills through fun and exciting games such as Around the Body, the Eagle Ball-Handling Drill, and Hot-Shot Blitz. Students also obtain donations and receive super thank-you gifts based on the dollars raised.HeartPower!, the American Heart Association's school site program, stems from four key messages. Nutrition, physical activity, living tobacco-free, and knowing how the heart works all play vital roles in maintaining a healthy heart.