Health And Fitness For Kids

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Men, women, and seniors have an abundance of sites devoted to their health, but kids aren't left out in the cold. is a service of the USDA about kids, intended for parents. It's produced by the Children's Nutrition Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine. includes a children's BMI calculator, which is slightly different than a BMI calculator for adults. An energy calculator intended to show parents the importance of making sure their kids get enough exercise also adds value. The site also includes articles about diet, exercise, and childhood obesity, plus links to other nutrition sites.

Plus, the Nemours Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the well being of children, offers KidsHealth (, a Web site that helps kids, parents, and teens with health issues (see Figure 5.30). For younger children, KidsHealth explores such topics as dealing with feelings, safety, children's health problems, a kid-friendly glossary of medical terms, health games, information about what different kinds of doctors do, and more. There are also recipes for kids, including kids with diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions. The teen site has some of the same content as the kids site, but it also includes information about teens' changing bodies and much more information about diets and diet safety. The parent section features advice for talking to your child's pediatrician, general health issues, child development, and parenting. All these sites are also available in Spanish.

about style, gadgets, and sex, plus the topics that we're covering, including weight loss, nutrition, and health (see Figure 5.31). The Web site combines content from the magazine and adds community features and original online content to create even more useful stuff. There are daily tips on a variety of subjects, surveys, contests, and a subscription site for folks who want to lose weight.

The Fitness section includes videos to help you do exercises right, articles about fitness, quizzes, a fairly active forum about fitness (of course, they call it the "best fitness message board on the Web"), and a subscription site that provides personal training information, including animated demos and a personal training regimen (see Figure 5.32). There's also a message board promoting the Abs Diet, a book written by a Men's Health editor, as well as a six-week challenge for men to try the diet themselves and sculpt their abs and improve their sex life (always a good selling tool on this Web site).

The Health center includes a great Conditions center that provides at-a-glance information about a condition (called a "Crash Course"), and then follows that up with tools, articles, and information that help men "Fight Back" against the condition (see Figure 5.33). For example, the section on cholesterol includes a quick guide to the statin drugs that help lower cholesterol, plus weight control, diet, and exercise tips and a guide to good and bad fats and the foods that they are in. (In short, eat more salmon, nuts, olive oil, and avocados; eat fewer processed snack foods, fried foods, and whole milk.)

FIGURE 5.31 Men's Health n

FIGURE 5.31 Men's Health n

FIGURE 5.32 Men's Health Fitness center
FIGURE 5.33 The Men's Health Conditions centers, such as this one on cholesterol, include lots of tips for preventing and fighting back against illnesses and conditions. is light on recipes and food-related information, but it does include grilling tips! And the recipes that are on the site (a few hundred) include nutritional information. And, as a member of the family of Rodale publications, there's good information on the South Beach diet on the site.


Summary: With millions of members, AARP is a great place for those who are over 50 to get the information they need.

In 1958, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired high school principal, founded the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) as an offshoot of the National Retired Teachers Association, which he founded in 1947. AARP's mission is to enhance our quality of life as we age. Open to anyone 50 or older, AARP has more than 25 million members in the U.S. and another 40,000 worldwide. Its Web site is dedicated to the same principles as the organization itself.

AARP's Health and Wellness center features articles about health care, prescription drugs, Alzheimer's disease, exercise, and more (see Figure 5.34). Sections are devoted to prevention, nutrition, insurance, stress management, prescription drugs, and exercise. Its Eating Well area (see Figure 5.35) includes weight loss tips and advice specifically for those over 50.

FIGURE 5.34 AARPHealth and Wellness center
FIGURE 5.35 The AARP Eating Well center features tips and advice for healthy eating and weight loss.

Perhaps even more helpful is the AARP Health Guide (see Figure 5.36). It includes an A-Z guide to health tailored specifically for those over 50, tips on healthy living, a guide to medications, a glossary of medical tests, a guide to Medicare, and more than 1,000 support groups for various topics.These are powered by Healthwise, Inc.'s medical knowledgebase. Healthwise is a nonprofit organization aimed at helping people make better health decisions.

FIGURE 5.36 AARP Health Guide

The AARP Health Guide also offers much of the content on the National Institutes of Health sites mentioned earlier in this chapter, including the MedlinePlus directory. It features interactive tutorials and slideshows, listings of clinical trials, healthcare-provider directories, and information on alternative medicine sources. AARP also offers a variety of health tips for seniors, including videos and case histories. Their fitness for seniors area offers lots of safety information, demonstration animations of the correct ways to do exercises, and quizzes to test your knowledge. Some tips from the AARP and NIH include the following:

♦ You're never too old to start exercising. Older adults can hurt themselves more by not exercising than by exercising. However...

♦ ...Safety first. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Also, consult your doctor if you have any symptoms after exercise, including chest pains, severe shortness of breath, an irregular or fluttery heartbeat, or any new symptom that you've never experienced.

♦ Start slowly. As little as five minutes per day helps, particularly if you haven't exercised in a while.

Workouts. NIH recommends four types of exercises for older adults—strength (moderate weight lifting), balance (leg raises), stretching, and endurance (cardio exercises, such as aerobics, running, or walking).

♦ Chart your progress. This will help keep you motivated.

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