Can Exercise Games Really Get you Fit?
If going to the gym isn’t appealing or you just don’t have time to hit the running trails or cycling track then exergames may be the best option for you. Exergames, short for exercise games are a hot new trend that’s taken Australia by storm and allow you to turn your gaming console into a personal trainer or sporting arena. These fitness video games are designed to get you up off the couch and offer a unique blend of technology combined with a work out plan that’s fun and exciting. Whether it’s taking on an opponent in a tennis match, getting into the boxing ring, engaging in a dance-off or working out under the watchful eye of a personal trainer, your console could be the ticket to increased fitness and a healthier lifestyle.
With Wii Fit sales set to reach a record high of $40 billion by the end of 2015 it’s clear that exergames have created a whole new generation of gamer who wants to get fit too. Hot on the heels of the Wii Fi is the Kinect for Xbox that offers a number of exergames and the Sony PlayStationMove. These consoles have kicked up exercising a notch and made getting fit fashionable and easy.
These pulse-pounding video games seem to be designed to get players active and many consoles have based their marketing strategies on this factor. For many in Australia, gaming may refer more to activities such as playing online pokies, a pastime that’s almost considered a national sport, but with the introduction of exergames a vast number of players are swapping online entertainment for that which improves their health instead of their bank balance. Just like online casino games, exergames can be incredibly rewarding, only in a different sphere of players lives.
When the question arises as to whether exergames actually help you get fit the answer is a resounding yes and recent studies by the American Council on Exercise, University Of Massachusetts Department Of Exercise and Health Sciences and the University of Calgary Exergaming Research Centre all proved that these games are a great way to work out. These studies took note of how many calories were burned when games were played virtually and how many are burned during the real life version of the game. Participation intensity levels were also monitored, as were the duration for which each game was played or activity was engaged in. The results were clear; exergames definitely burned calories and boosted fitness levels in much the same way as normal exercising would.
As with exercising in a gym or other environment, what you put in will be what you get out and exergaming results are no different. If you really work at the game you’ll get fitter faster and the more you play, the quicker you’ll see results. The variety of different video exercise games also makes a difference as players are able to vary their routines and to work out different areas of their body, contributing to better overall fitness than those who simply perform the same exercise on a regular basis.
Exergaming also offers many incentives as it can be enjoyed with friends and family and will create a sense of healthy competition that will force players to try harder and push themselves more. This element of competition is one that is often a motivating factor that will keep people going as they want to perform at their best and beat their opponent, even if it is the TV.
This type of interactive gaming is a great alternative for anyone looking to get fit whilst still playing console games and a new generation of active gamer has been born.
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