It’s hard to believe that with today’s technology, a gaming console has been created with exercise, and gaming, combined in one. Wii games, particularly Wii Fit, encourage physical movement and activity, all in the comfort of a gaming console. So, while you are playing what seems to be a pretty normal, interactive video gamne, you could actually be burning calories and getting fit at the same time.
Is this true though? Can playing an interactive video game like Wii Fit really do much to improve general fitness and wellbeing?
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Wii Fit, is the balance board provided with the Wii Fit package. It acts as an aerobics step, a sensor for most activities and it even functions as a scale. Yes, Wii fit weighs you. On your first encounter with Wii Fit, you will undergo a simple fitness/balance test which, teamed with your age and weight, provides you with your BMI (body mass index) and fitness age. Wii then tells you whether you are in a healthy or unhealthy weight range for your age and weight.
You can program into Wii Fit the amount of weight you wish to gain/lose, and a graph is provided as a visual form of your program. Each minute you spend playing Wii Fit is tallied, and you receive bonus points according to how long you spend playing. Bonus points can unlock new activities and levels, so it acts as a motivational technique to keep you playing.
Balance is a vital component in Wii Fit games, and is taking to consideration for almost any activity you do. Article ‘Can you really get fit with Wii exercise games?’, written by Annabelle Robertson, and published on MedicineNet.com, quotes Cedric X .Bryant, PhD, FACSM, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, as saying that: “in terms of skill, balance, coordination and agility are important for our functional capabilities, but they don’t equate how fit a person is,”.
So is it worth investing in Wii Fit if your aim is to actually gain fitness and lose weight? Perhaps. Depending on the amount of physical activity you already do (or do not) undertake, it could be worth your while. Anything that breaks a sweat is generally doing your cardio fitness levels a bit of good.
Generally, as long as Wii Fit isn’t your sole means of fitness and exercise, and as long as you don’t expect drastic changes, then theres no harm in a bit of extra fitness. Even if it’s all fun and games.