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Technology Takes On The Battle Of The Bulge

(NAPSI)-Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are now obese or overweight, according to recent research by the Trust for America's Health. What's stopping most from getting the exercise they need? Not surprisingly, the most common answers are time and money.

Washington, D.C.−based fitness trainer Suzie Baird tells us that we don't need to make a big investment to begin living healthier. She suggests using everyday items that we already own to help fight the battle of the bulge and save money. "Simple ideas like using your PDA's or computer's calendar function to schedule an exercise 'appointment' can have a big impact on your daily commitment," said Baird.

TV can also be an important piece of exercise equipment that doesn't hurt the wallet. While it's often to blame for creating "couch potato syndrome," it can also be one of your best, least expensive and most convenient tech tools for staying fit. Today's gaming devices now offer advanced interactive exercise experiences for all ages. The options range from tennis to yoga to strength training and so much more.

Digital cable customers have a virtual 24-hour gym in their living rooms. A wide variety of health and fitness programming-available On Demand with a click of the remote-means there's something for everyone. Look for Pilates, fat-burning, cardio or boot camp programs. Learn to belly dance, get into hip-hop or step into the world of Bollywood dance in the privacy of your home.

On Demand viewers can also get in-depth sports instruction and coaching for a variety of activities by some of the most recognizable names in sports. Kids can learn soccer from Olympic champion Mia Hamm or get skateboarding advice from pro skateboarder Mike V. Other well-known experts offering tips On Demand to get family members up and moving include skiing great Bode Miller, baseball hero Tony Gwynn, and basketball megastar Bill Walton.

According to research by Rentrak, digital cable customers turned to free On Demand programming more than 65 million times in the last year with abdominal- and bun-targeted offerings among the most popular. The bottom line? Whether you're interested in boot camp, Bollywood or buns of steel, the trick is to make time to get moving and keep moving. For more information, go to www.ThisIsCable.com.

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A Serious Way To End A Serious Disease

(NAPSI)-Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race reality show, knows how to Move it during MS Awareness Week to help end multiple sclerosis. He knows that when it comes to reality, no one chooses to have MS. He also knows that with your help, there is a great opportunity to spread the word and raise awareness of MS so that we can move closer to a world free of this disease that every hour stops someone new from moving forward with his or her life.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and over 2 million worldwide.

Advances in research are moving us closer to ending the disease and MS is treatable for the majority of people who are now diagnosed. This is a very exciting time if you have MS or know someone who lives with the disease because MS research has reached a watershed year, with more than a dozen therapies that hold promise of new and improved treatments for the disease moving through the pipeline, including the first oral therapies. This makes our commitment to advance MS research ever more important.

This MS Awareness Week and beyond, it is time for you to Move it to end MS. Congress is supporting the goals and ideals of MS Awareness Week with a congressional resolution. To find out ways that you can join Phil Keoghan and be a part of MS Awareness Week and the MS Movement, as well as encourage others to do likewise, visit nationalMSsociety.org.

• Whether you volunteer, bike, walk, advocate, educate, support--every action is a unique way of moving us closer to a world without multiple sclerosis and shows your commitment to the MS Movement. It also helps to motivate the potentially millions of people who want to--and can--do something about MS now.

• From the Society's national site you will find ways to build the MS Movement. You can even find out how you can share your own video story, download Web banners, or sign up to participate in or volunteer for Walk MS, Bike MS or some other special event offered by a chapter near you.

Progress on MS can't wait. Be a part of the amazing race to end MS and find your own way to Move it during MS Awareness Week and beyond by visiting www.nationalMSsociety.org!

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Note to Editors: MS Awareness Week is March 8 to 14, 2010 but this article can be helpful to your readers at any time.

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The Power Of Prevention

(NAPSI)-More and more people are embracing the notion that health care prevention plays a major role in deterring disease.

Staying in shape and watching what you eat can prevent many diseases--and that includes endocrine-related disorders such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, obesity and conditions related to numerous glands and hormones.

A comprehensive, free resource designed to educate patients about ways to successfully manage their conditions is now available to the consumer.

The patient-friendly magazine published by the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) features articles written mostly by expert endocrinologists with years of clinical experience. Articles feature useful health information and tips for lifestyle management. Nearly a million copies of the publication, Power of Prevention®, are currently in circulation.

The inaugural issue was devoted to thyroid dysfunction, which affects 27 million Americans, while the second focused on the diabetes epidemic.

According to former ACE president Dr. Donald Bergman, "The Power of Prevention® initiative is designed to give patients the tools and information to know what to ask and expect from their health care providers during their visit."

The third issue will tackle the national epidemic of obesity by defining the condition, dispelling myths about weight loss, discussing various treatment options and highlighting the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

The issue will focus on the fact that obesity is a biological, preventable and treatable disease.

As a disease, it is at the core of many other chronic illnesses--type 2 diabetes, diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system, some types of cancer, depression, arthritis, disordered breathing, deconditioning and gastrointestinal disorders.

Obesity is not a condition, a character flaw, a consequence of poor willpower or anyone's fault. Contributing factors to obesity include heredity and one's environment. Making positive lifestyle changes can help a person achieve a healthier weight, and the issue will offer helpful, practical advice.

The publication can be found in any local endocrinologist's office. An online version is available for downloading at www.powerofprevention.com.

Subscriptions are also available by e-mailing subscribe@powerofprevention.com or by calling (904) 353-7878.

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The Ticket To Great Big-Game Get-Togethers

(NAPSI)-A little advance planning can make your at-home game-watching experience almost as much fun for your family and friends as being at the big game itself. Try these tips for hosting a game-time get-together worth cheering about.

Gear Up

Be sure you and your guests are properly dressed for the occasion. That could mean donning favorite team jerseys and hats or even breaking out the face paint. Add an element of friendly competition by awarding a prize to the person with the most team spirit.

Take A Time-Out

Have a few games set up for guests to play during time-outs, halftime or the seventh inning stretch. An accuracy competition that challenges guests to throw a softball through a hula hoop or make a "shot" in the wastepaper basket can be a fun and simple way to stir things up.

Fuel Up

Watching sports and enjoying food go hand in hand, so be sure to have plenty of snacks ready to go. You might match the food to the big game's venue (if it's in Florida, for instance, serve tropical food and drinks) or simply go with your favorite tailgating classics. Also, remember that game food doesn't have to be unhealthy. You might opt for sandwiches and salads over brats and wings.

Best Seats In The House

Sports fans tend to agree that bigger is better when it comes to watching the game, but flat-screen TVs can only get so big without breaking the bank. You might get a less expensive--but much more impressive--show by using a projection system instead. Projectors have a lower cost per square inch of viewing area compared to flat-screen TVs, and today's digital projectors can display high-def pictures and fast-action images with outstanding clarity and impact.

For instance, the Mitsubishi HC3800 HD DLP home theater projector combines rich color depth and detail with the high brightness needed to fully appreciate every aspect of the big game or tournament.

Great for HD gamers and sports fans alike, the projector's new supersharp, high-quality Diamond Lens provides vivid realistic images and the option to view wide-screen films. Plus, its relatively low price and low cost of ownership--it has an estimated 5,000-hour lamp life in conservation mode--means you might save enough to attend the next big game in person.

For more information, visit www.Mitsubishi-hometheater.com or call (888) 307-0349.

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Skateboarding Show Inspires Kids And Tweens

(NAPSI)-Sometimes, the best way to learn is to fall down and get up again--especially when it comes to skateboarding.

It's a good reason to always wear protective padding when you skate, and just one of the valuable lessons the sport has taught many of the estimated 13 million skateboarders in America. But it's also the idea behind a show that's made fans out of parents, skaters and kids who prefer to keep both feet on the ground.

The inspiring comedy adventure stars Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks as best friends Zeke and Luther--two confident, complex and ambitious 15-year-old sidewalk surfers on a quest to become world-famous skateboarders like their hero, Tony Hawk. Along the way, they navigate the literal and figurative luge of teen years with all its tricks, grinds, obstacles and occasional slams. Sometimes they fail, but they always learn and evolve. Called "Zeke and Luther," the program airs on Disney XD.

Quick to challenge the boys' claim to neighborhood skating fame is their friend and foe, Kojo, played by Daniel Curtis Lee. Kojo's got a big attitude and a big mouth and takes great pleasure in taking Zeke and Luther down a peg whenever he can.

Another thorn in their side is Ginger, Zeke's ingenious 12-year-old sister played by Ryan Newman. She's more interested in outwitting her brother and his friends than in their skating skills.

With stories filled with humor, heart and great skateboarding adventures, producers Matt Dearborn and Tom Burkhard combine action and storytelling into funny and inspirational episodes--ones that can teach the value of fun, confidence and never giving up.

For more information, visit www.disneyxd.com.

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Set Up A Sleepover

(NAPSI)-Your youngster's next sleepover party can seem like a dream with a little planning and assistance from an animated hostess. Here's how:

The Planning

1. Send invitations out about four weeks before the event and start making a list of items you'll need at least two weeks ahead of time. Include food you'll serve as well as cleanup supplies.

2. Decide what food you'll serve and what you'll serve it in.

3. Determine what music you'll play and how you'll play it.

4. Pick a theme and decorate the party rooms to suit.

The Hostess

The virtual hostess, Aimee, featured on the interactive video game "Sleepover Party," available on Wii, can help you plan your party, choose your party theme-you can choose among Hollywood, Beach, Birthday, Halloween, Fashion, Winter and more-build your guest list, create shopping lists and more.ĘThen, at the party, she'll help you enjoy a variety of party games and activities:

• Customize Your Virtual Hostess: Choose from lots of fun outfits and accessories to make Aimee look great for any occasion. Additional items unlock as you play.

• Fortune-teller: Find the stars in the crystal ball and uncover them to reveal a prediction.

• Copy the Host: Pick up the Wii Remote and mimic Aimee's dance moves and actions.

• Burst Balloons: Race to inflate and burst balloons before time runs out.

• Balance the Tray: Prevent items from dropping off the tray by putting your weight to the right or the left.

• Avoid the Pie: Avoid the pies that Aimee fires at you.

Aimee also gives you ideas for tons of fun off-screen activities, including:

• The Hollywood Look: Give each other a glamorous makeover.

• Friendship Bracelets: Discover how to make friendship bracelets in various styles.

• Beauty Face Masks: Prepare various face masks based on instructions and ingredients lists provided by Aimee.

• Cookie Decorating: Decorate cookies in various cool patterns with icing pens, cake decorations and sweets.

• Dance-Off: Players take turns adding new dance moves to create a routine.

Perhaps the only problem will be that with all these fun things to do, no one will be getting much sleep.

For more information, visit www.amazon.com.

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Dialing Up Music For Parents And Kids

(NAPSI)-Parents know that music and entertainment are a big part of youth culture. But many are also under the false impression that today's kid tunes aren't exactly music to mom's and dad's ears.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find common ground when it comes to tuning in to favorite songs. Radio personality Ernest "Ernie D" Martinez urges parents to "be open-minded to today's kids hits and use radio and music as a tool to stay relevant."

He suggests, "Listen to the radio together and talk about the music. See if you and your children have some of the same tastes." Martinez offers these additional tips for connecting with kids over music:

• Talk Radio--Talk with children about their likes and dislikes in radio and music but also in fashion, movies and other pop entertainment. "I do this on air when I'm talking to young listeners who call in," Martinez says. "A lot of times they just want to share what's on their mind."

• Yesterday And Today--Talk about today's artists and how they compare to the artists of your youth. "Talk about how their careers were similar and how fans reacted then," suggests Martinez.

• Common Ground--Pick music that you both like--old and new. "Expose your kids to 'oldschool' music," suggests Martinez. "Then let them expose you to their favorite groups."

Martinez, a father of three, is an on-air personality and creative director at Radio Disney, a nationwide network with a reputation for kid- (and parent-) friendly programming.

"We have kids help pick the music we play and interact with our on-air personalities over a toll-free phone line to the studio," says Martinez. "But plenty of parents get involved, too."

The result is a playlist that includes recording artists that appeal to all ages, such as Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Mitchel Musso.

Martinez' feature program, "Take Over with Ernie D," also offers in-studio interviews and acoustic performances with artists and invites stars to take over some of his DJ duties, interacting with listeners calling in.

"The key is to keep it entertaining for children and parents," says Martinez.

For more information, visit www.radiodisney.com or call the studio at (877) 870-5678.

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Plot Thickens For Fans And Gamers

(NAPSI)-While gamers aren't quite ready to trade in their TV remotes for console controllers, video games have influenced the way many people watch their favorite shows.

According to Nielsen's recently released "The State of the Video Gamer" report, a number of today's most active gamers now play through TV's prime time, and DVR shows for later viewing. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're tuning out TV during the coveted time slot. Instead, many have incorporated their favorite shows into their game-play.

In fact, a number of new games let players assume the role of TV cops, investigators and other heroes as they control their favorite characters, work through plotlines and more.

For instance, in "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Deadly Intent," players help solve Las Vegas' most gruesome crimes with the new characters and cast from the latest season of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Designed for the Wii, Xbox 360 and PC, the video game features five shocking cases written by the show's actual writers and uses the voices of the show's actors.

Similarly, "CSI: Deadly Intent--The Hidden Cases" for the Nintendo DS system lets players solve additional bizarre cases through an enhanced questioning system and with unique touch game-play (think dusting for fingerprints, performing dissections and more).

Designers say the idea is to make players feel like real television characters by re-creating heart-pounding interrogations and stylish visuals, while also providing a story structure that unveils the shocking truth only when all the cases are linked together. For many players, it's been an idea worth tuning in to.

For more information, visit www.deadlyintentgame.com.

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