ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
CANCER
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
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
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
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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