ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Free Range
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
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Will the Wii Keep You Fit?

"Wii Fit," which lets you use the game platform as an exercise tool, is already a runaway hit in Japan and Britain. It was recently released in the United States.

The newest component of this game is a balance board -- a motion-sensitive platform that looks like a double-wide bathroom scale. It can detect how much weight you place on each foot and which way you're leaning.

Before you start playing, you create a profile, entering your height and age. The game then measures your weight, your body mass index and your "Wii Fit age." Once you've been assessed, you then start your workout, which can include yoga, strength training, aerobics and balance games.

Dr. Joseph Mercola comments: Wouldn’t it be ironic if one of the vices that keep many young adults and children sedentary would end up being their exercise savior? Could it be that shelling out $250 for a Nintendo Wii, and another $90 for the Wii Fit game, is the answer to the obesity epidemic facing much of the world?

Well, it certainly can’t hurt.

An average of nine video games were sold every second of the year in 2007, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and a U.S. News and World Report article cites the statistics that 92 percent of children under age 18 play regularly. Adults play video games too, and according to a study by Nielsen//NetRatings, nearly 37 percent of U.S. adults own a video game console.

If even a portion of the time spent sitting in front of a TV playing video games could be transformed into time jumping, doing push-ups, jogging or doing yoga in front of the TV, some serious calories could be burned. In fact, Nintendo’s first “activity-based” video games for the Wii game system, in which players move their limbs as if they were actually participating in real-life versions of boxing matches, dances and other activities, have had positive results. Their popular game Dance Dance Revolution, in which players dance in time with music, can burn as many calories as strenuous exercise.

The added benefit of the Wii Fit is that it gives you real-time feedback to make sure you’re doing exercises properly, and it will record your weight so you can keep track of your progress over time. Then again, as the author of this ABC News piece pointed out, "It should be noted, you don't really need a "Wii Fit" to do any of these workouts."
Video Games Should Support, Not Replace, Regular Exercise

Not doubt about it, these games look like fun. And even though I’m often short on free time, I do plan on trying out the Wii just for kicks, as I really am a kid at heart -- and more importantly technology and exercise are two of my passions. But these games shouldn’t be your sole form of exercise. Even Nintendo makes the point of saying that the Wii Fit is not meant to replace regular workouts. But by all means, if you’re a video-game junkie, use the Wii Fit to jumpstart your own exercise program, or compel your kids to get moving.

But don’t stop there.

I recently explained in detail how to update your “exercise prescription” for the most benefits. In short, a well-rounded exercise program must involve the following three types of exercise, and should take into account exercise intensity and duration for your individual fitness level and goals:

1. Aerobic, endurance workouts (lowers blood pressure)
2. Strength training (helps ease muscle and joint pain)
3. Interval-type training that includes short bursts of activity at very high intensity that is individualized for your specific fitness level (burns fat)

And remember to keep it fun. That has been my primary guiding principle in exercise for some time now, and is why I am using singles tennis to replace much of my running. If you don’t enjoy exercising, you’re unlikely to do it. So if you absolutely love video games and want to include a Wii yoga or strength-training session in your routine, go for it. But keep in mind that if you can easily carry on a conversation while you’re doing this exercise, you’re not going hard enough to give your body the benefits it needs.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with other more “old-fashioned” forms of exercise either, so please don’t feel compelled to purchase a video game console just to get a good workout.

Sources: Ashley Phillips (for ABC News, 5/19/08), Dr. Mercola