Teenage Fitness: We’ve Got The Scoop On Hoops

Who doesn’t want to get behind teenage fitness? But what if your teen is lazy or just not into sports. We’ve got an idea! Introducing the humble hula hoop and join a world of joyful movement! I could tell you that hooping is a low-impact, high-energy workout that improves core strength, tones your stomach, arms, thighs and butt, and burns approximately the same amount of calories as spending an equivalent time on a treadmill, but your exercise-hating kids will not care. (However, here is a basic hula hooping workout for […]

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Does High School Traumatize Us for Life?

That was the question posed, just a few months ago, by writer Jennifer Senior in her exhaustive cover story on the possibly “corrosive” effects of high school for New York magazine. And to be completely honest, it’s still got us scratching our heads! In the article, the author summarizes the current science on adolescent development and high school socialization to try to tease out the true impact of the teenage years—and to understand why such a short span of our personal history has such lasting psychological importance. And while no […]

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Healthy Texting

As we all know, it can be a real challenge to get teens to pay attention to anything that’s more than 140 characters. So when we came across this new study from the University of Arizona that looked at the effectiveness of texting health information to teens, we were pretty eager to know more. Over the course of a year, the 177 adolescents participating in the study received daily health-conscious texts from the researchers. Then the teens gave their feedback on everything from content and style to frequency and form. […]

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Brain Fatigue—The Effects of Concrete, Nature, and Bees

  As you may or may not know, Choices magazine (and Scholastic Inc.) is based in New York City. And contrary to what the movies may make you think, most afternoons here are not spent taking carriage rides and romantic strolls in Central Park. Yet scientists say that the human mind can take only so much city living  until you succumb to brain fatigue. Brain fatigue, as in stress-induced forgetfulness, distraction, and mental walkabouts. (Sound familiar?) One way to fight brain fatigue is to stroll through calm leafy parks. In […]

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Tackling Teen Parenthood—Meet The Text Baby

Teen parenthood has been glamorized (Teen Mom we’re looking at you) and vilified (New York City’s campaign was a little over the top in our opinion), but now it’s been turned into a text experience brought to you by Dosomething.org. The idea is simple: Instead of using real-life tykes for a test run, teens simply submit their friends’ numbers to impregnate them with virtual phone-baby. Their friends will then receive texts throughout the day urging them to take care of their cellular infant. (Incentive alert: By playing the phone baby […]

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Are We Really Connecting?

We often use technology to save time, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or makes the saved time less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts. It’s not an either/or — being “anti-technology” is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly “pro-technology” — but a question of balance that our lives hang upon. —Jonathan Safran Foer, How Not to be Alone

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The Days of Segregated Proms are Numbered (Finally)

“We live in rural south Georgia, where not too many things change. … As a group of adamant high school seniors, we want to make a difference in our community. For the first time in the history of our county, we plan to have an integrated prom.” Unfortunately, this is not a quote from a civil rights protest in the 1970s. It was taken straight from the Facebook page of four teens from Wilcox County High School in Georgia. That’s right. In some areas of the United States, kids are […]

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An Anti-Drug PSA That’s Working

If you are looking for a truly inspirational anti-drug campaign, drop everything and check out Above the Influence. We think it’s extremely successful at making it seem cool and worthy to not be influenced by peer pressure to take part in negative activities—like using drugs. And it turns out that a study from Ohio State University has found that the campaign’s message is effective. Shaunacy Ferro of Popular Science said, “Eight percent of teenagers in a 2011 study who had seen the campaign and were familiar with it started smoking […]

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Texting While Walking is A Dumb Move

We all know that teens are addicted to their phones. Making it through a meal, a class, or even a conversation without an interrupting text seems almost like a distant fantasy. But many teens are having trouble looking up for anything—even oncoming traffic. Last summer, researchers in Seattle monitored the habits of pedestrians at busy crosswalks. Of the 1,100+ subjects studied, almost a third were listening to music, texting, on talking on a cell phone while crossing the street. Of all of the participants, those texting took the longest to […]

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Three Cringe-Proof Sex Ed Resources for Teens

So much of the sex ed media content out there is awkward, corny, and cringe-tastic. That’s why I love finding frank, explicit, and tasteful sex ed resources for young people that don’t make me want to vomit a little in my mouth! We’ve come a long way from Walt Disney’s 1946’s The Story of Menstruation. Here are three info-packed resources that we’ve deemed cool enough to share with your students! All informational and blunt! All LGBT friendly! All geared toward young people! 1. Scarleteen—A super-solid website for young people that […]

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