ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Know Your Asthma Triggers
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
More Single Women Are Having Babies
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
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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