ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Cats Can Trigger Eczema in Some Infants
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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