ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Barefoot Best for Running?
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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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