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Making Exercise More Fun


Games are fun and engaging. Sometimes normal exercise can get kind of boring. In fact, some experts are thinking about about how smart devices can gamify fitness and it seems to work.

Turning Exercise Into a Game Can Make Fitness More Fun and Effective

This news story in Healthline describes a research study on gamified workouts. Participants were given Fitbits and map apps to track their activity levels. One group was took part in a competitive map-based game. Participants in the study who were part of the game were more active than those who weren't. That's a good start.


The problem, though is maintaining the fitness levels. Which makes sense, because we tend to fall off our fitness and diet programs when we get bored with them, and we also get bored with games or move on to the next fun thing. So, while gamifying fitness is a great idea, it's probably going to require lots of different types of games, and updates that keep them interesting and fun for the effect to continue.

Happier Kids, Happier Parents

Depression affects people of all ages and diagnosis and treatment could have implications for the whole family. New research suggests that when teens get treatment for their depression, symptoms of depression in their parents may be reduced as well.

Treating Teens' Depression May Be Great for Parents' Mental Health, Too

This news story published by The Atlantic describes the study that included 325 American teenagers and their parents (mostly moms). The authors of the study weren't able to determine why treatment of teens also improved symptoms in parents but say that it could be due to their involvement with their kids' treatment or in how families interact in general.


This could be an interesting area for further research as this is just a preliminary study. Previous research has focused more on the effect of parents' mental health on kids and few studies have looked at it the other way around.

Heart Health Important for Teens

Countless studies have looked at heart health and adults, but experts say that teens should take their future heart health into consideration when making lifestyle decisions. Many risk factors for heart disease develop over time but when kids get a head start on the healthy changes that could keep those risk factors in check, they may have better heart health in later years.

Why Teens Should Be Heart Healthy, Too

This news story form U.S. News & World Report describes some of the ways kids can work on their heart health while young. Although it can be difficult to take such a long range view on heart disease, it's important because it's the leading cause of death in the US.


Some of the suggestions include less screen time, more physical activity, plus better sleep hygiene because many kids don't get enough sleep at night. In addition, eating a heart healthy diet could go a long way toward good heart health later in life.

Early Start Times Not Good for Kids' Health

Plenty of research demonstrates that kids need lots of sleep for their health. In addition, kids who aren't struggling to stay awake and alert are going to have a better time in school. Many experts say that changing school start times could be beneficial for kids who currently can't get enough sleep..

Research Shows Early School Start Times Are Bad for Kids' Health

This news story form Healthline takes a look at the potential for changing school start times. Research is on the side of later start times, especially for teens, because biologically, teens tend to fall asleep about 11 pm and not wake up until 8 am. But that biological programing tends to shift at about middle school age, so it's not just a problem for high school kids.


There's plenty of argument though, especially when parents and care-givers work schedules don't mesh with later start times. In addition, bussing could be a huge problem if different ages start at different times. But, still, it's an area worth investigating.

Childhood Obesity Requires More Than a Simple Fix

Lowering the rates of childhood obesity has been a major goal for pediatricians and other health care providers for a long time now. In fact, in 2016, one of every three kids ages two through 18 years were overweight and one of every five were obese. Experts are still looking at the best ways to target this problem.

What will it take to reverse childhood obesity? More than a single solution

This news story from PBS News Hour takes a look at what it will take to reverse the trend of growing childhood obesity rates. While it would be great if there was one magical fix, there isn't - since there are so many reasons for childhood obesity, the solution may be equally complex.

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    About the author
    Shereen Lehman
    Shereen Lehman is a health and nutrition writer with two decades of experience counseling people on nutrition and diet. She has a master's degree in human nutrition and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Association of Health Care Journalists.
    Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website and she, is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies and Clinical Anatomy for Dummies.
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