Archive | Health

Instilling a Life-Long Love of Fitness

When you ask most adults to recall their experience in middle school PE, you get a wide array of responses, but very few of them are pleasant. Climbing the rope, awkward attempts at pull-ups with underdeveloped arms, being last to get picked for teams — the list goes on.

This isn’t the fault of the well-meaning PE teachers we worked with. Most of them were coaches and athletes themselves, and grew up believing that anyone could be an athlete if they just tried hard enough.


Why Teens Shouldn’t Sip Energy Drinks Before Sports Practice

Recently we talked about how energy drinks can make middle schoolers hyperactive and distracted. In case that’s not enough of an incentive to cut back on these caffeinated beverages, this new study might change their minds. According to an article published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, research shows that energy drinks could be a serious danger to adolescents’ cardiac health.

Nearly one in three teens (ages 12-19) consume energy drinks regularly. That’s a lot of teens—and a lot of caffeine.


Puberty Resources & Advice For Parents of Preteens

We’ve just finished up with our puberty unit for the 6th graders, and oftentimes, it’s more stressful for the parents than it is for the kids. Comfort levels vary, and they might not have received any education on the topic themselves, except for a slightly awkward conversation with their own parents.

They want to do right by their kids and support them as they’re going through these changes, but they need a little support from us as their health teachers as well.


This Healthy Eating Trick Isn’t Always Best For Teens

Drink a cold glass of water before each meal. Eat a big, nutritious breakfast. Keep a food journal. Use smaller plates. We’ve all heard the tips and tricks to help you change your eating habits, but do they really work? A new study shows that at least one doesn’t, particularly for overweight teens.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut tested how attentive teen girls were to portion sizes and quizzed them about their perception of the amount of food on different sized plates. There were 162 girls ages 14 to 18 involved in the study. The researchers found that overweight teenage girls were less attentive, on average, to these visual cues of different types than their peers.


Exciting Things Happening in Health Education

So, another one’s down in the books. The SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) National Convention is just winding down in Seattle, and as is usually the case after big conferences like this, I’m left with some great ideas to take back to my classroom.

What’s even more exciting about this year, though, is that I’m leaving with a new sense of hope about the future of health education. Health, for a subject that every one of our students will need when they grow up, has traditionally gotten very little love in the American education system.


Are Parents Doing Enough To Protect Teen Athletes From Overuse Injuries?

Did you know that overuse injuries make up half of all teen sports injuries? That’s a huge amount. Overuse injuries are injuries that occur from a repeated activity over time, such as throwing a baseball And according to a new study, a majority of parents don’t know ways youth baseball pitchers can prevent getting injured. Being familiar with safe pitching practices could be an important step in avoiding these kinds of injuries.


Naps Are More Powerful Than You May Think

It’s a known fact that most teens usually don’t get the recommended amount of sleep every night. Not only does it affect their performance in school, but a lack of sleep can increase their obesity risk. According to guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation, teens are recommended to get 8-10 hours per night. But let’s be honest, that doesn’t always happen. With screen time sometimes trumping sleep time, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the night. That’s where naps come in!

Besides making a teen feel well-rested, there are even more scientific benefits of napping. Naps can improve a person’s memory fivefold.


Texting Isn’t The Only Dangerous Thing Teens Are Doing Behind The Wheel

While we’re familiar with the dangerous habit of texting while driving, this research may surprise you. A new study reveals other risky behaviors teens are doing behind the wheel that need to be addressed.

According to a study at Oregon State University, 27% of teens admit to changing clothes or shoes will operating a vehicle. They also change contact lenses, put on make-up, and do homework.


5 TED Talks to Use During Health Class

Gone are the days of filler movies or meaningless worksheets. We’ve got a wealth of amazing guest speakers at our fingertips, whether we’re absent or not.

Here are five TED talks that I show almost every year. Usually I’m there when I show them so we can discuss afterwards, but in case of a last minute emergency, these classics would work in a pinch.


Why Teens Should Snack on More Nuts

Chances are you’ve heard about the health benefits of certain nuts. For example, almonds boost bone health, improve brain functions, and lower cholesterol. Meanwhile, pecans are rich in antioxidants. It’s not just adults who should be munching on these salty snacks—a new study found that eating nuts while in your teens can lead to important health benefits. Consuming a small amount of nuts every day can decrease cardiovascular risks in adolescents.