Jun 3, 2008

Wii Fit Fitness Video Review

Exergames (n): A video game that also provides exercise. Ex: Dance Dance revolution and the Nintendo Wii Fit.

In the same week Nintendo released the highly anticipated Wii Fit, news reports claim that childhood obesity may have finally leveled off at 32 percent. But still, a country with a third of its youth overweight is not a healthy one. Some people think that exergaming may be the solution.

With games like Dance, Dance revolution and the new Wii Fit, fitness industry experts like former head of Nautilus Jim Teatum, think combining today’s technology with physical activity is going to get kids moving because it’s what kids WANT to do not HAVE to do!

The Wii Fit has sold over 2 million units since its debut in Japan last December. But how can this video game affect our waistlines, health and self-esteem?

There have been reports of the Wii calling young girls “fat” and consequently hurting their feelings. Well, you know what? Someone has to do it! It’s a measure of your BMI which clearly does not measure muscle mass. But regardless, it’s kind of like an easy way of telling overweight players without sounding like the bad guy. Its purpose is to promote exercise and health. Give it a break! It doesn’t have built-in sensitivity radar!

Gamesradar.com had a yoga instructor try out the yoga game and she described the game as a weird concept mainly because you need to stay on this board where in yoga you stand on a mat. She concluded she wouldn’t do it again. And then she told Nintendo to “suck it!”

A marketing director at NuMetrex, which makes clothing with built-in heart rate monitors, tried out the new video game Nintendo Wii Fit, and reported an elevated heart rate of 90-110 for the “step” and “hula cardio” workouts, while reaching 130 during the running program. The woman is a marathon runner and while running the Philly Marathon her heart rate measured between 145-155.

The result: For an avid runner, the Wii Fit provides a workout that is equivalent to a walking warm-up or a low-to-moderate exertion run on a flat surface. If you are overweight the Wii will provide some cardiovascular benefits. The Wii is a good starting point if you are sedimentary. It will get you off your butt. But it doesn’t really compare to good old-fashioned exercise.

Teatum also thinks that children are obese because of the choices they make in their diet and physical activities.

There’s a reason children are prosecuted in juvenile courts -- they are not legally held to the same responsibility as adults when it comes to making decisions.

Whether or not we’ve hit a plateau, we need to lower the number of overweight children and until we do that we are still going to have a problem… especially when these children grow up to burden the already overburdened healthcare system.

To watch my review of the Wii Fit check out the video on the DietHealth You Tube channel or CLICK HERE .

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