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					                            Wii Fit: Getting fit or staying at home?

Technology has been advancing at a fast rate since the 1980s, especially with video games. I'm a
gamer (mainly RPGs and FPS, Final Fantasy nerd!!!) that started his days with Mario brothers,
Contra, and Ninja Turtles. Evolving from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) into Super
NES, almost every console from then to the new generation console (everything except for PS3,
no money for it yet) I have come to own and play on a regular basis. Generally people would
think that gamers do not get exercise, or that gamers are fat, but gamers are very diverse,
especially in body type. Despite the fact that gamers and children that are "soon-to-be" nerdy
gamers like me are diverse in demographics and ethnicities, the general public point the finger
towards video games and other advancements towards convenience for the raising numbers of
childhood obesity, type-2 diabetes, and overall increasing numbers in cardiovascular disease
(CVD).

As a gamer I say “Bull****” but as a trainer, I see the connection. The younger generation, even
adults, prefers to be in an indoor setting with some type of monitor in front of them. I can relate
to that because when I am at home I really need some type of noise to get me going, either
leaving the TV on, using the computer, playing music, or playing on my 360. People of this day
and age find their activities involving a monitor, which prevent them from going outside, or even
moving around the house. Take this, a couple of my cousins came over to my house and my
cable Internet was down. I told them we could all go to the park because there is a party there.
Both said they were going to go home. Why? It was all because one wasn’t able to go on
Facebook or watch her Korean dramas online, and the other wasn’t able to play with their friends
via XBOX Live. Really?! So what can you do to get people to exercise now-a-days when stuff
like this is integrated into their everyday routine so deeply?

Which is probably one of the reasons why Nintendo has developed a game called Wii Fit, which
has the player perform easy to learn exercises to help the individual become fit, and by fit I mean
become lean and increase stamina. They recently (in 2009 if you think that is recent or old,
whatever) released the 2nd edition to the Wii Fit where you are able to perform more exercises
and have them set like a playlist, where you can perform one exercise and quickly go to the next
one without stopping or taking the time to select another one.

There are many questions that float around the Wii Fit: "does it really work? Can I really lose
weight from this? Is it a good source of exercise for me," etc. I am not the only one that has been
thinking about this, this topic actually has been the focus of a couple of studies. The American
Council on Exercise (ACE) has just printed out an article about their findings towards the Wii
Fit. A few gaming magazines and shows have reviewed the game in regards of fitness and in
gameplay. In reality, I think the gaming reviews are all wrong... not really. Most of them
somewhat correlate with what I think about the game, but others just give the game a low rating.

In the aspects of fitness, the Wii Fit is good for beginners who are new to fitness (and new to
video games) and younger children, especially for those that hate playing outside (damn you
kids). The exercises are relatively easy to do, and for children now-a-days who are more
technology-knowledgeable and stuck on the TV screen, it is a good transition for them to get
from sitting down to moving around. Same thing goes for adults, the only differences towards
their approach with the Wii Fit is that they are able hold themselves accountable with what they
are doing (having a virtual trainer keep track of their progress and attendance) and ability to
unlock different activities (the gamers’ pride to finish everything).

On the down side, this game does not provide enough exercises for those that are more
intermediate and/or advance. The only challenges would be to challenge the trainers in the game,
but that is somewhat easy if you are already performing more vigorous exercises than the ones in
Wii Fit. For children, their attention span is VERY limited so if they already went through
exercises/activities that they like and there is nothing else, no way they are going to continue that
for more than 5 minutes.
For the most part regarding fitness for the general, anything that has you moving around and
actually participating in exercises is good for you. It really just depends on what the individual
wants at the end of it all. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be able to run a mile? Do
you want to even run OUTSIDE? If your goal is weight loss, start with this and make sure you
go through a 1-hour session with the Wii Fit 5 to 7 days a week. If your goal is strength, the
exercises are a great start, especially if you do not have any other type of exercise equipment. Do
the strength training exercises 2 to 3 days a week, but you would probably have to do more
repetitions to really get some small results.
With the strength training exercises, however, the focus would be to get you used to the exercise
and then gain more muscular endurance vs. muscular strength. Muscle endurance is the ability of
a muscle or muscle group to sustain repeated contractions against a certain amount of resistance
over extended period of time, i.e. being able to do over 100s of pushups. Muscular strength is the
ability your muscles would be able to generate force in a short period of time, i.e. power lifters.
For the Wii Fit, you wouldn’t really get stronger, unless you just started working out and doing
the exercises is hard at first or you have to add more weight to use while on the Wii Fit. The Wii
Fit is more focused on muscular endurance other than getting big and bulky… but there are not
that many big brawny size people in Japan.
The Wii Fit is a good thing to start with, but that is all. It is something to START with, for
BEGINNERS. You will not see a lot of very fit people using the Wii Fit as their primary source
of exercise, but mostly using it for the fun aspect. You would not really see results from using
the Wii Fit from the general public. You would really need to commit to an everyday program
with the Wii Fit, but in reality, that is how it is with fitness. There is no easy, fast, and/or quick
solution towards fitness and weight loss despite what commercials tell you. It is a life changing
thing and for those that are apprehensive towards that change, try the Wii Fit. If that is boring for
you, (only in regards to exercise not because of the gameplay) try doing other exercises/activities
outside the Wii Fit. The outside world is not as scary as you think or see it on TV.

				
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posted:3/5/2011
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