Active Gaming By: Bri Gwaltney, BS, CSCS
Turning your video games in to an Exercise Tool!
We all have to admit that video games have become a huge part of the lives of today’s youth. Thankfully, it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. As technology has advanced Active Gaming has started to take over the video game market. Active Gaming includes games on systems like Wii and Xbox that require the movement of your body. There have recently been a few studies looking into if these types of games can actually benefit your health and how.
Games like Wii hula hoop, boxing, and Dance Dance Revolution, which require the movement of your entire body, have so far resulted in the most energy used during studies. These types of games were shown to be equal to light-to-moderate intensity walking in kids ages 10-14. So this is a great way to turn couch video game time to fun active game time! Some of the Wii fit balance games have been shown to improve posture and balance, but their scoring system with in the game should not be used as an accurate marker. We also have to keep in mind that because the full body games are only equivalent to light-to-moderate exercise gaming should be used in conjunction with other exercise and not instead of other exercise. An athlete’s main athletic development program should include a combination of strength, power, injury prevention, speed development, and endurance training. These programs are safest and most advantageous when monitored by a professional strength and conditioning coach. For already active athletes, active gaming would be most beneficial to use on recovery days, as a warm up or cool down, or just for fun!
This is a creative way to stay active while staying in tune with the ever growing craze of electronic games. So next time you or your athlete go to play a video game, say goodbye to your couch get active with it! Box, Hula Hoop, Dance, whatever game it is that you enjoy! Active bodies yield happy bodies, and happy bodies yield happy minds.
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