Home guest articles Exergaming: A serious workout or just a fad?

Exergaming: A serious workout or just a fad?

written by Guest Blogger February 24, 2012

Are you thinking of purchasing a Wii gaming system to get your exercise in and finally lose that weight you’ve been talking about shedding since New Year’s? Here’s a guest post that discusses the effectiveness of fitness games and whether they’re a wise investment or not.

With the invention of motion detection technology on new gaming systems such as the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox Kinect, games that include a high level of activity have become the latest thing. Perhaps you’ve been to a “Dance Central” party or played a vigorous game of virtual tennis with your kids.

 

If your video game experience left you sweaty and feeling like you just finished at the gym, congratulations! You’ve been exergaming.

The companies that create games are taking advantage of this trend and have put out games specifically designed to take advantage of this phenomenon. Some of the most famous include “Wii Fit,” “EA Sports Active” and “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.” Big name franchises are also getting in on gaming as a fitness format, such as “The Biggest Loser” and even “Zumba.”

But is exergaming a legitimate way to get in a workout? Or are you just playing a game?

It depends. How dedicated is the person playing the game? How challenging is the game? How much time does the person spend playing? How regularly do they play? Is the game part of an overall effort to eat right and get more exercise?

While exercises benefits overall health, it also contributes to cheap life insurance rates, something that benefits almost everyone.

The Flaw in “Wii Fit”

“Wii Fit” was one of the first exergames to hit the market back in 2008. Everyone who tried it loved it, and Wii systems flew off the shelves. People who had never thought they would ever own a gaming system were purchasing a Wii and “Wii Fit.” But according to the game developers, people weren’t playing the game consistently. Many systems and fitness boards were collecting dust.

Why? If the dedication and drive to lose weight aren’t there, a balance board and video game system aren’t likely to change that.

So why hasn’t exergaming faded into the sunset? Looking at all the new releases over the past few years, the market appears to be growing. Sequels are out for popular dance games and updates to games designed specifically to be workout programs continue to come out.

Additionally, new technology like the Kinect is solving one of the primary problems people had with “Wii Fit.” No controller to hold and leg strap to fiddle with means a simpler overall gaming experience. People like simple.

Why is Exergaming Still Around?

Perhaps this can be explained by the hopefulness that most people have when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape. “This year I’ll finally lose that weight.” The games are purchased in a burst of optimism and show good sales numbers. Why wouldn’t game companies continue to produce games in franchises that are retail successes?

As long as a person keeps that dedication, these games are a perfectly valid form of exercise. While you probably aren’t going to get fit playing virtual golf, playing “Just Dance” can give you a great cardio workout, to the tune of about 300 calories an hour. Boxing strengthens and tones the arms, back and core, and can burn about 400 calories an hour.

One of the most common pieces of advice given to those who are looking to lose weight but don’t like to exercise is to find a form of exercise that you love. For a number of dedicated people, these games are that form of exercise. And anything that gets people up and moving should be taken seriously.

About the Author

TermLifeInsuranceNews.com tries to provide individuals with useful health and lifestyle tips to help them get the best life insurance rates possible.

Do you own any fitness games? How often do you play them? After reading this post, are you planning to fit exercising into your weekly routine to get more fit?

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