ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
CANCER
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
CAREGIVING
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Successful Weight Loss Shows Unique Brain Patterns
Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study Shows
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
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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