Exergame ON!

September can be an iffy time for outdoor exercise. The weather doesn’t always cooperate: it’s too hot or too rainy or too close. The outdoor pools are locked up for the season, and time seems to be at a greater premium with school back in session.

Besides: sometimes it’s just not enough fun to repeat the same tired exercise routine.

Change it up with an Active Video Game! AVGs became popular a few years ago with the release of Wii Fit. Players use mats and controllers that rely on body movement. They can run, play tennis, bowl, dance, and perform other physical maneuvers just by manipulating their bodies to compete against virtual partners or real ones, against time and speed, with fun.

But does it work? Yes, if you’re looking for the usual exercise results. Recent studies examined such factors as heart rate and energy expenditure, and the results are clear. Though these virtual workouts are slightly easier than the more extreme versions of their real-life counterparts, they do provide a good substitute.

Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, and Xbox Kinect are just a few of the choices on the market, and opinions are divided on which is the best. Check out the variety of games offered; that will help you make the decision, as will your current gaming system.

One of the best benefits of using these AVGs for fitness is that you can get the whole family involved. Play singles or doubles tennis, jog, or bowl with your family any time of day or night without driving, fighting crowds, dealing with unpredictable weather, or waiting for an empty court or lane. So get your exergame on, and have a great time getting in shape.


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