Video Games For Exercise

April 2nd, 2011

By Nancy Shute: Parents who fear that video games are turning their children into tubs of lard can now say with confidence that playing Dance Dance Revolution burns more calories than sitting on the couch.

In fact, active video games like Dance Dance Revolution give kids a better workout than walking on a treadmill at 3 mph, according to new study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. And even the overweight kids say they liked playing the games.

However, a 3-mph walk is pretty darned leisurely, and the children who played Wii Boxing didn’t manage to get their metabolic rate above their walking rate. Dance Dance Revolution bested Nintendo Wii Boxing when 39 children ages 9 to 13 were dancing to the rock chestnut “Thirteen.”

Earlier studies have evaluated home video games as exercise options, but this study also looked at commercial video games like SportWall, in which students interact with wall panels equipped with motion sensors, that are becoming increasingly popular for school phys ed classes.

Three commercial games were among the four that burned the most energy —SportWallTrazer, a laser-tag-like game; and LightSpace Bug Invasion, in which players stop lighted bugs on a mat.


Walk — To Remember!

February 7th, 2011

From The New York Times: In healthy adults, the hippocampus — a part of the brain important to the formation of memories — begins to atrophy around 55 or 60. Now psychologists are suggesting that the hippocampus can be modestly expanded, and memory improved, by nothing more than regular walking.

Researchers randomly assigned 120 healthy but sedentary men and women (average age mid-60s) to one of two exercise groups. One group walked around a track three times a week, building up to 40 minutes at a stretch; the other did a variety of less aerobic exercises, including yoga and resistance training with bands.

After a year, brain scans showed that among the walkers, the hippocampus had increased in volume by about 2 percent on average; in the others, it had declined by about 1.4 percent. Since such a decline is normal in older adults, a 2 percent increase is fairly significant.

The researchers were delighted to learn that the hippocampus might expand with exercise. And not that much exercise. People don’t even have to join a gym. They just need shoes.


Facial Yoga: Minimize Eye Wrinkles

February 2nd, 2011

Here’s more facial yoga from yoga teacher Anneliese Hagen, author of The Yoga Face.  She says that these simple exercises, practiced in front of a mirror, can minimize wrinkles around your eyes.

Facial Yoga: Sculpt Your Cheeks

January 23rd, 2011

Yoga works wonders for your body, so why not your face?  Yoga teacher Annelise Hagen, author of The Yoga Face, demonstrates simple moves that she says will sculpt and lift your cheeks and keep you younger-looking.

The Big Picture: Sleep

January 11th, 2011

A simple idea for increased productivity…watch this TED talk by Arianna Huffington…and sleep! — Cathie